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Cardrona Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Cardrona Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Cardrona Hill; Cardrona House Policies

Canmore ID 53137

Site Number NT33NW 2

NGR NT 30092 37863

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NT33NW 2 30092 37863.

(NT 3009 3786) Tower (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map (1964)

Cardrona Tower stands on the E shoulder of Cardrona Hill and overlooks the valley of the Tweed to N, E and S.

The tower is L-shaped on plan with the re-entrant angle facing S. The main block measures about 33'6" from NW-SE by 22'2" from NE-SW. The wing, provided to house the stair, projects about 6'10" to the SW in alignment with the NW gable, and measures 10' 1" NW-SE.

The building is dilapidated, but some parts still stand to a height of about 30' and the SE gable is almost entire. There has been a parapet-walk on the SW wall of the main block, reached from the staircase, which consequently rises above the main wall-heads. In the main block there are three main storeys and there was probably a garret in the roof space.

The entrance, situated in the SE wall of the wing, is represented by a gap recently repaired and arched over, above which there is space for a panel, now empty.

The lands of Cardrona appear to have been in the possession of the Govans from the 14th century until the end of the 17th century, the tower itself probably dating from the second half of the 16th c. In 1685 the property passed to the Williamsons, who built a new house lower down the hillside. It was no doubt at this time that the tower was abandoned, but the building was "still almost entire" in 1794. In the middle of the 19th century the remains of "very strong and substantially built walls" could be seen round the tower, but there is no trace of these today, the ground being obscured by dense undergrowth.

RCAHMS 1967, visited 1958

This tower is as described. The remains are in good condition.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 28 June 1961 and (SFS) 3 September 1974.


Standing Building Recording (11 November 2010 - 16 November 2010)

NT 30092 37863 A detailed historic building survey was undertaken, 11–16 November 2010, on the remains of the 16th-century tower house in advance of consolidation works on the building. The work consisted of map regression, a written, photographic and 3D scanner survey of the building.

The tower is accessible to two storeys in height and the floor of the first floor ‘main hall’ remains intact. There is a ground floor vaulted basement. The building is L-shaped in plan, with a tall stair tower attached to the N side of the SW elevation. Constructed of whinstone, the SE wall still retains much of its steeply pitched gable, with wall heads surviving to the second and third floor level in places. A projecting piece of stonework on the S side of the SW elevation indicates a possible parapet walk or the foundation of a corbelled tower.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: The Forestry Commission Scotland

AOC Archaeology Group, 2010

Information also reported in Oasis (aocarcha1-90330) 12 October 2011

Sbc Note

Visibility: Upstanding building, which may not be intact.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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