Volunteering at Thirlestane Castle

Thirlestane Castle has a long and wonderful volunteering history since my father inherited the castle in 1970 and opened it to the public in 1984.  Sarah and I took over as resident Trustees in 2012 and, like my father before me, we have relied on our incredible volunteers to help bring the castle’s history to life for its visitors.  The castle is now a Charitable Trust and accredited Museum established to care for and secure the long-term future of the castle and its collections.  We believe passionately that the castle should be shared with as many people as possible, and its history preserved for future generations.

We are looking to welcome new volunteers to our team to help tell the stories of this great castle and we hope to attract people who share our love of history and Scottish heritage.  If this sounds like you – we would love to hear from you.

Edward Maitland-Carew

Volunteer Guide

Thirlestane Castle is open to the public for guided tours from May to September, and for private guided tours the rest of the year.  We receive five star reviews for our guided tours which are delivered with passion and often humour by our guides who help to bring to life the castle’s long history.

If you have an interest in history and enjoy engaging with the public, you may like to become a tour guide.  Any time that our guides can give is appreciated but as a guideline, we recommend committing to a minimum of two sessions per month – each session lasting up to 4 hours. However, this is totally flexible and will depend upon your own commitments.

Volunteer Helper

Our volunteer helpers are friendly and welcoming of our visitors.  They support tour guides and then provide hospitality to visitors in the tearoom and gift shop.  We are looking for people who enjoy engaging with a range of different people and who are good communicators.

We ask our helpers to commit to a minimum of two days a month with each day lasting up to four hours.  However, this is totally flexible and will depend upon your own commitments.

Volunteer Grounds Person / Gardener

We’re really excited to introduce this new volunteer role.  If you love being outdoors, Thirlestane Castle has over 500 acres of parkland to enjoy.  As you can imagine with an estate of that size, much work goes into its upkeep to ensure it always looks its best for our visitors.  This role includes planting and weeding, grass cutting and general grounds maintenance.

Volunteer Benefits

All our volunteers are offered benefits in acknowledgement of the time and commitment you give.

  • Develop your skills through a comprehensive training programme

  • Chance to make new friends

  • Reimbursed travel expenses

  • Annual day trip with lunch to visitor attraction

  • Regular coffee mornings with the resident Trustees

  • Free guided tour for friends and family after a qualifying period

What To Do

If you’re interested in any of the volunteering opportunities here at Thirlestane Castle, please either complete the attached form, call us on 01578 722430 or get in touch by mail: Visitor Coordinator, Thirlestane Castle, Lauder, TD2 6RU

Learn more about Thirlestane Castle & Clan Maitland

Thirlestane Castle Trust

Hear Robbie Hunter, Thirlestane Castle Trust Trustee, talk about future plans for Thirlestane Castle.

Edward Maitland-Carew, Family Trustee

A welcome from Edward Maitland-Carew who resides at Thirlestane Castle, which has been home to his family for over 400 years.

Volunteering at Thirlestane

An insight into what is involved when volunteering at Thirlestane Castle.