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Castle Semple Loch, Peel Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Castle Semple Loch, Peel Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Castle Semple Policies, The Peel

Canmore ID 42148

Site Number NS35NE 5

NGR NS 3617 5876

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Renfrewshire
  • Parish Lochwinnoch
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Renfrew
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS35NE 5 3617 5876

Peel (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map (1915)

(NS 36175876) Tower (NR) (rems of)

OS 6" map (1969)

For Castle Semple (house) and associated buildings, see NS36SE 9.00.

This tower (named 'Peel Tower' in the TSA) was built by the Semples in the first half of the 16th century; on early maps it is shown to have been on an island in Castle Semple Loch, but the remains are now on shore as the level of the loch has been lowered. The remains show the gun ports on the ground floor, and the circular stair which led to the living quarters above. In 1856 it was difficult to establish the outline due to the quantities of rubbish and stones at the site.

Name Book 1856; A Millar 1889; TSA 1962.

The ruin of this tower has probably had much debris removed from it since 1856 as a substantial part of the lower storey of a rectangular tower is revealed. The NW and SE walls remain to a height of over 3.0m and form the longer sides, 15.0m in length. The SW wall, 7.0m long, survives but the NE wall has been robbed to its foundations. The masonry rubble-cored with outer facings of square-faced, uncoursed stones and inner facings of squared coursed stone, the walls being 3.0m thick, with dressed corner-quoining. The innner, longer walls curve inwards forming the usual ground floor vaulting. There are the bottom steps of a newel stair in the internal E corner. The tower stands on what has been an islet in the loch and at NS 3619 5876 there are the remains of a small quarry and a cobbled runway, but these may be comparatively modern.

Visited by OS (WW) 25 July 1955.


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