Fa’side Castle looks majestically down from its vantage point above Wallyford.

I am sure, in fact, that it is clearly visible from Musselburgh as you enter East Lothian. It dominates the landscape all around, and the views from its position are amazing:Edinburgh, the Pentlands, the Forth, Fife and a large chunk of East Lothian are all laid out in panorama below it.

It is a structure of fascinating history, and has seen so much more. The tales it could tell of Mary Queen of Scots, who passed nearby to fateful Carberry, of the Jacobites whose march to Prestonpans it witnessed.

And what bloody scenes within its sight took place in 1547 as the Battle of Pinkie raged we can only imagine. It was burnt at that battle.

It was a crumbling ruin until finally restored in 1982. That is a story in itself. But my tale today takes us far back into the time of Robert the Bruce. An earlier castle of the same name then stood on this spot. And the legend tells us it was held by a branch of the Setons, who had declared loyalty to Bruce and his cause.

In 1306, a sentry, pacing on the battlements and keeping watch, was suddenly startled by the sound of horses galloping, followed by a shout. He peered down into the darkness but could see nothing.

Moving along the battlements to the point above the entrance, he held out his torch into the dark cold air, screwing up his eyes to see if anyone was at the gate. Nothing.

He then hurried to the guardroom and asked the others there if they had heard anything. They were none too pleased at being woken from their snoozing on duty, but said nothing had stirred them. Baffled, the sentry returned to his post. He must have imagined it.

But no sooner had he returned than another eerie noise disturbed his senses. The night was nippy cold and still, and the sound he heard crisp and clear: “Clack, clack, clack.” He turned his head, identifying the source of the noise. It was coming from a disused turret on the west of the castle.

He stood motionless for some time, listening to the strange noise. It sounded like someone working. But at what and why at this time of night? And who would be in that cold, disused part of the castle anyway?

And so he approached the door to the chamber and stood outside. The noise continued – “clack, clack,clack”. He threw open the old studded door and a waft of cold air fanned his torch, making it momentarily burn brighter. It illuminated the old chamber.

An old woman was spinning in the room. She stopped her work and looked up at the shocked sentry. His torch began to flicker and the flame dimmed, and darkness filled the room. He stood quite terrified.

The woman had been an unexpected and strange sight. But the thing that shocked the sentry was the fact he had been able to see the rusted metal bars of the grated window behind.

They glistened for a moment in the flame. But he saw them through the woman’s body.

She was a ghost.

The sentry’s breathless explanation to the fellow guards was not believed.

But his terror and shock seemed genuine. So they went to investigate, but there was no sign of the old woman or her spinning wheel.

The following evening, just as the sun was going down, the sound of galloping hooves was heard once again. This time a rider arrived at the castle. He called out desperately for the gates to be opened. He had terrible news. The brave Sir Christopher Seton had been executed, hanged by the forces of Edward I.

Then the sentry understood his vision. It was a ghostly portent. The tale was told and then no doubt half forgotten until the spinner again returned, foretelling the untimely death of another Seton, with the “clack, clack, clack” of the spinning wheel. It was heard just before Flodden.

The chamber no longer exists, but according to the legend the old woman, in her steeple-crowned hat, still waits in the castle, her spinning wheel silent, until another death needs to be announced.

And once that time comes, the sound of her working will be heard once again: “Clack, clack,clack.”