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Cairns Castle

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Cairns Castle

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Harperrig Reservoir; Easter Cairns

Canmore ID 49093

Site Number NT06SE 4

NGR NT 09036 60509

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish Mid Calder
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Recording Your Heritage Online

Cairns Castle, from 1440

Seat of the Crichtons of Cairns, picturesquely sited on a knoll projecting into Harperrig Reservoir. Originally L-plan; a major and a minor tower with a turnpike staircase in the mutual corner. Customary cellars on the ground floor, the kitchen fireplace later turned into a principal door. Entrance tower to the east now vanished.

Taken from "West Lothian: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Stuart Eydmann, Richard Jaques and Charles McKean, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NT06SE 4 0903 6051.

(NT 0903 6051) Cairns Castle (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map (1957)

Cairns Castle, now ruinous, is of 15th century date. On plan it comprises a rectangular tower, 27 1/4' x 23 1/2'; to it is attached an 18' square wing. The walls, 4 3/4' to 6' thick, stand 30' high and show that there were at least three storeys below the wall-head. The structure is badly preserved.

RCAHMS 1929, visited 1914; H B M'Call 1894

Cairns Castle is generally as described though only the lower portion of the SW wing survives. The remains are now in a fair state of preservation.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 19 August 1965 and (JP) 6 March 1974

Architecture Notes

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection.


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