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Eldinhope Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Eldinhope Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 53094

Site Number NT32SW 1

NGR NT 30484 23754

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NT32SW 1 30484 23754.

(NT 30482375) ELDINHOPE TOWER (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map (1900)

Eldinhope Tower. On the right bank of Eldinhope Burn, about half a mile SE. of Eldinhope, there can be traced the grass-covered foundations of a rectangular building measuring about 33ft from NW to SE by 22ft. from NE to SW over walls about 5ft 6 in thick. On the NW there is a small enclosure, which may have been a garden; its drystone wall seems later than the tower.

In 1492 the forest stead of "Aldinhop" was in the hands of Walter Scott of Howpaslie (Acts of the Lords of Council in Civil Causes, i, 1478-95, 293). It then passed to his kin, the Scotts of Branxholme, whose descendant, the Earl of Buccleugh, owned the place in 1628.

RCAHMS 1957, visited 1934

Remains consist of rubble walls, 12 in high.

Information from R Santen 17 March 1953

The remains consist of a foundation 9.7m long by 4.3m on the west side and 5.7m on the east, marked by a turf-covered wall 0.5m high. The site is obscured by debris.

The adjacent enclosure, linked to the building by a wall, and the fact that the site is on the floor of a valley immediately overlooked by steep slopes, suggest that it is a farmstead rather than a defensive structure.

A more likely site for a tower is where the modern farm house of Eldinhope (about half a mile to the north) is situated - commanding the junction of three valleys.

Visited by OS (RDL) 20 June 1962


Field Visit (2020)

NT 30000 24000 A rapid walkover survey was conducted in June 2020 by Peeblesshire Archaeological Society in advance of proposed forestry on the rough grazing to the S of Eldinhope Cottage, an area defined roughly by the catchment of the Eldinhope Burn. The following sites were located with handheld GPS (accuracy level 5m).

Meg’s Hill:

NT 30210 23785 (centred).A sinuous pre-improvement field bank is visible extending E in a rough semi-circle from the corners of the modern field on the W side of the burn (visible on Bing Aerial).

NT 30260 23670 Turf shieling huts.

NT 30155 23595 U-shaped building, open at E end, possibly a sheep house with banks standing to c1m in height.

NT 30183 23496 Quarry.

NT 30098 23037 There was a string of small quarries along the E crest of the ridge of Meg’s Hill.

NT 30016 22762Roughly circular pit, possibly a tree throw.

NT 29829 22682 Sheepfold. Not on 1st Edition OS map, but appears on 2nd Edition OS map.

NT 29700 22646 Hut and attached bank running S from it at the foot of the hill slope, probably a shepherd’s store and gathering place.

Long Grain Burn:

NT 29648 22420. Corrugated iron shed with timber uprights, mostly collapsed, and an arc of bank on N of Long Grain Burn, with a drystone sheep pen immediately to W.

NT 29543 22320 Curvilinear bank on the terrace to W of Long Grain Burn, probably the remains of a sheep enclosure, but only one side found.

A drove road crosses Long Grain Burn to E of the bank above. This is part of the drove way, which runs from NT 29856 23720 to S of Eldinhope Cottage along the W of Meg’s Hill as far as Cadgers Craigs at NT 29621 21032. Where it is not in boggy ground it may still be followed as a hollow way. Canmore ID: 344795.

Mid Rig:

NT 29905 22271 Scatter of small earthen heaps on a terrace on the N flank of Mid Rig, probably tree throws.

Eldinhope Burn:

NT 30461 22530. Right angled stone wall set into the bank of an unnamed stream that runs into the Eldinhope Burn immediately to E of sheepfold and livestock pens (item 14 below), either a dam, or possibly a sheep dip.

NT 30441 22544 The sheepfold W of the previous item first appears in roughly this form as a rectangular fold on the 2nd Edition OS map, but within a larger fenced enclosure, having previously been circular with a roofed building on the 1st Edition OS map.

NT 30651 22660 A drystone enclosure or sheepfold on a terrace S of the Eldinhope Burn partly formed against rock outcrop.

NT 30704 22963 Sheepfold on both the 1st and 2nd Editions OS maps.

NT 30487 23664 Sheepfold on both the 1st and 2nd Editions OS maps which is now eroding into the burn.

NT 30482 23755 (centred) Eldinhope Tower, yards and enclosures on a terrace to the E of the Eldinhope Burn. Canmore ID 53094.

NT 30202 23907 (centred) Farmstead set on either side of burn. Large ranges robbed to footings on terraces in gully on E of Eldinhope Burn. One platform lies on the W of the burn. Canmore ID: 344815.

NT 30281 23853 Enclosure on a promontory on the edge of the river terrace W of the Eldinhope Burn. Canmore ID 344814.

Archive and Report: Peeblesshire Archaeological Society. Report: Scottish Borders HER

Funder: Forest Direct

Piers Dixon, Stratford Halliday, Joyce Durham – Peeblesshire Archaeological Society

(Source: DES Volume 21)

Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding earthwork or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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