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Thirlestane Tower

Tower House (16th Century)

Site Name Thirlestane Tower

Classification Tower House (16th Century)

Canmore ID 51174

Site Number NT21NE 1

NGR NT 28085 15403

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Ettrick
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
  • Former County Selkirkshire

Archaeology Notes

NT21NE 1 28085 15403

(NT 28091540) Thirlestane Tower. (NR) (Remains of).

OS 6" map (1900)

Thirlestane Tower. On the left bank of the Thirlestane Burn, immediately NW. of the existing mansion (RCAHMS 1957, No. 36 [Demolished September 1965]), there is a small rocky plateau on which stand the ruins of a late 16th-century tower, L-shaped on plan and situated with the re-entrant angle open towards the SE.

The only surviving remains are two ivy-clad fragments of rubble walling about 25 ft. high, respectively portions of the S. sides of the main block and of the wing with their gable returns. These indicate that the building was about 43 ft. 8 in. long; its breadth is unknown. It had at least three main storeys, and the lowest one in both main block and wings was vaulted.

The entrance seems to have lain within the re-entrant angle; all that is left of it is a fragment of the lintel, now rebuilt at the W. end of the wall of the main block. This bears the initials of Sir Robert Scott and his first wife Margaret Cranston set in little panels, the initials of the husband coming above those of the wife. Their marriage took place in 1590.

On the ground floor the wing contains an aumbry, while the main block has a narrow, roughly formed slit for light. The single surviving window above this level is built with a relieving arch, but the dressings have been torn out.

RCAHMS 1957, visited 1934

The remains of the tower are as described by RCAHMS.

Visited by OS (RDL) 4 July 1962


Sbc Note

Visibility: Upstanding building, which may not be intact.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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