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Barns Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Barns Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Barns Castle; Haswellsykes

Canmore ID 51285

Site Number NT23NW 16

NGR NT 21520 39133

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Manor
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Tweeddale
  • Former County Peebles-shire

Archaeology Notes

NT23NW 16 21520 39133

(NT 2151 3913) Tower (NR)

OS 6" map (1965)

Barns Tower was erected in the last quarter of the 16th century, and appears to have been little altered until about the end of the 18th century, when a fairly extensive restoration was carried out. The building, now unoccupied, measures 28' N-S x 19'9" over walls up to 5' thick, and rises to a height of 3 storeys and a garret. The uppermost courses of the walls were rebuilt when a new roof was erected during the restoration. The lintel of the doorway is inscribed 1488 and 1489 but both inscriptions are of comparatively recent origin.

A wrought iron tripod incorporating a conical container of cast iron, said to be a beacon-stand, from this tower is in Peebles Museum. It appears to be of late 18th or 19th c date.

RCAHMS 1967, visited 1963

This tower is as described.

Visited by OS (EGC) 29 May 1962 and (BS) 17 October 1974

NT 215 391 A watching brief was maintained during the laying of services to the tower in advance of restoration works. Five small-scale excavations were also undertaken to determine the stability of the mound upon which the tower is built. No archaeological features contemporary with the early occupation (16th-17th century) of the tower were found. However, a few unstratified sherds of glass and pottery dating to the 18th and 19th centuries were recovered.

Report lodged with Scottish Borders SMR and the NMRS.

Sponsor: Wemyss Estates.

T Ward 2003.

Scheduled as 'Tower SW of Barns and SSE of Haswellsykes...'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 30 April 2009.


Photographic Survey (24 April 2003)


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