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Lochhouse Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Lochhouse Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Moffat; Beattock Station; Lockhouse Tower

Canmore ID 48378

Site Number NT00SE 18

NGR NT 08164 03359

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Kirkpatrick-juxta
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Annandale And Eskdale
  • Former County Dumfries-shire

Archaeology Notes

NT00SE 18 08164 03359

For adjacent building (NT 0810 0338), see NT00SE 42.

(NT 0817 0335) Lochhouse Tower (NR)

OS 6" map, (1957)

This tower, situated within a mile of Beattock Station (NT00SE 64), is a fair example of a Border pele. It stands on the brow of a slight hillock, two sides of which were formerly washed by a loch which is now drained away. The tower is 38 ft (11.6m) by 28 ft (9m) with walls 6 ft (1.8m) thick, rounded on the angles.

The entrance door is placed in the E wall, so as to be convenient for the newel staircase in the NE angle. The ground floor is vaulted, and provided with shot-holes. This floor could be used either as a refuge for cattle, or for stores. On the first floor is the hall which measures 27 ft (8.2m) by 16 ft 6 ins (5m) and has a window in each wall. The second floor was probably all in one apartment, like the hall, and would form the private room of the proprietor. Above this was the parapet walk supported on cirbels, and rounded at the angles, but without angle turrets. There was also an attic floor, probably used by some of the family or etainers, who would then be ready for instantly manning the battlements in case of need. The external set-off, where the wall of the top storey is thinned, is not common. It goes all round the tower.

There seems to be no record of the erection of this tower, but, judging from its style, it was probably built in the 16th century. It belonged to the Johnstones of Corehead.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887.

Lochhouse Tower, which is still occupied, is a restored 16th century rubble-built tower. It was perhaps built about the time of the Act of Parliament of 1535; it is mentioned in 1567 as being occupied by a Johnstone. It is oblong on plan, with rounded corners. It measures 37ft by 27ft, with walls 6ft thick; the basement is vaulted. It stands three storeys high, with a flat roof; only the S gable of the garret remains. The interior has been much altered, though some original details have been revealed by recent work.

RCAHMS 1920, visited 1912; N Tranter 1965; W A J Prevost 1980.

Lochhouse Tower (name confirmed) is as described.

Visited by OS (D W R) 24 November 1971

Lochhouse is a 16th-century tower-house. It is rectangular on plan with rounded angles and stands three stories and a garret in height. There is a plinth at ground level, a set-back at third-floor level, and a continuous corbel-course at the wall-head. The entrance-doorway is towards the W end of the N wall and opened to a newel-stair and mural chamber on the W and E respectively. The ground floor is vaulted. Although restored, there are a number of original openings and three wide-mouthed gun-loops. In the 17th century Lochhouse was the property of the Johnstones of Corehead.

Visited by RCAHMS (IMS) 3 September 1990.

RCAHMS 1920; R W Reid 1924

The ruined 16th century tower of the Johnstones of Corehead was restored as a residence c. 1980. It has rounded corners and external offsets below the basement, double splayed gunloops and the third storey windows. The attic originally lay inside a vanished parapet for which the corbels remain. The tower measures 11m by 8.3m over walls 1.6m thick at the base. The entrance in the E wall is flanked by a staircase in the corner and a tiny porters' room in the side wall.

M Salter 1993

Lochhouse Tower stands on low-lying ground a mile S of Moffat, and was probably built in the 16th century by the Johnstones of Corehead, in Annandale.

Rubble built, it once had three storeys and an attic, and has the basement course often found in the Dumfries area. The angles are rounded. The walls are taken in a little above second-floor level. The parapet once rested on individual corbels.

There is a vaulted basement, now partitioned. The original door is in the E front, that in the S wall being a modern addition to give access to the part of the vault now used as a store. The section of gable remains. Lochhouse has been reroofed and completely altered internally, except for the turnpike stair in the NE angle, which is no longer in use.

M Lindsay 1994.

Tower house built for the Johnstones of that Ilk, probably in the early 16th century and certainly by 1562.

J Gifford 1996.

Listed as tower.

RCAHMS 1997.

Architecture Notes

NT00SE 18 08164 03359



'Country Life,' 10/01/1947, page 128.


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