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Gartincaber Tower

Commemorative Monument (18th Century), Observation Post (Second World War), Tower (18th Century)

Site Name Gartincaber Tower

Classification Commemorative Monument (18th Century), Observation Post (Second World War), Tower (18th Century)

Canmore ID 24388

Site Number NN60SE 19

NGR NN 69763 00801

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Kilmadock
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN60SE 19 69763 00801

Gartincaber Tower is located on a hill west of Doune. It was built in 1799 by William Murdoch of Gartincaber House. It is generally understood to be a folly and was not a functional building as such. Tradition dictates that it was intended to mark the centre of Scotland, which locals claim is situated near here. The tower is a two storey gothic octagon with a parapet. It may have been built for the people of Gartincaber to enjoy the view of the surrounding countryside.

The tower was built in sandstone rubble, with dressed stones at the corners and window and door surrounds. The lower windows are rectangular, while the upper windows have pointed Gothic arch tops. An iron spiral staircase wound around the outside of the tower and gave entry to the two storeys, defined by a dressed stone string course. Each floor had a fireplace. The crenelated parapet hid the flat roof, which supported a flag pole. It is likely the tower would have been harled or white-washed.

During its later history, Gartincaber Tower was used as a Second World War lookout post and was painted white. It was later used as a trig point and again for military purposes during the 1950s and 1960s, when it was used to communicate with other points nearby, by lamp flashing.

The tower today is in a ruinous condition. Parts of the wall and parapet have collapsed and the interior is overgrown with vegetation and debris. None of the floors or roof survive. Only parts of the iron staircase survive. There are also large vertical cracks running down the structure and loose stonework is visible. This makes the tower very dangerous and in a precarious condition. It is hoped to preserve the building in the near future.

(Undated) information in NMRS.


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