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Goldielands Tower

Barmkin (16th Century), Tower House (16th Century)

Site Name Goldielands Tower

Classification Barmkin (16th Century), Tower House (16th Century)

Canmore ID 54176

Site Number NT41SE 8

NGR NT 47808 12930

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Hawick
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Roxburgh
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT41SE 8 47808 12930.

(NT 4780 1293) Tower (NR)

OS 6" map (1923)

Goldielands Tower. This ruined 16th-century tower, to which modern farm- buildings have been attached, is situated on a shelf from which almost precipitous slopes descend to the River Teviot on the W and to its tributary the Hay Sike on the S. The neighbouring ground is level on the N but rises gently on the E behind the buildings, and the tower thus commands a view both up and down the valley of the Teviot as well as up that of the Borthwick Water.

The tower stands near the S extremity of the site, there being room to the S of it for a barmkin, evidence of which is supplied by the broken and irregular mounds representing its outer wall and internal structures.

Grose's view of 1789, however, represents the tower with two outbuildings, now demolished, as occupying the SE. corner of a square, walled enclosure extending northwards, the NE and SW corners containing respectively a square tower and a circular one and the NW corner being formed by the enclosing wall. Of the enclosure nothing has survived.

The tower itself is oblong on plan, measuring 34 ft 4 1/2 in. from NE to SW by 23 ft 11 in. from SE to NW; it has been five storeys in height, including the entresol and attic floors. The superstructure is now ruinous. The parapet and walk have been entirely demolished and the only evidence of their former existence is supplied by four of the supporting corbels which remain, but not neccessarily in position, on the outside of the SE wall. A modern V-shaped roof has been formed inside the walls between the first and second floors. The masonry is rough, of whin rubble, harl-pointed and with freestone dressings. The building is entered from the SE by a round-headed doorway with a quirked edge-roll; it is fitted for two doors, neither of which has been secured by a draw-bar, and opens into a small vaulted lobby. On the right lies the newel-stair, which projects on each floor into the chambers inside the tower; on the left is an aumbry, and immediately opposite the entrance is the door to the ground floor. This floor was a single compartment, a storehouse, but there has been an entresol floor beneath its vault, supported on rough corbels set in the side walls and entered from the newel-stair. This lower division has been lit from a window on the SE, originally smaller than at present; and there may have been another window oppostie to it, where a rough modern doorway has been broken out. The original windows were probably plain, like the three facing respectively NE, NW, and SW, which still light the entresol. A modern doorway has been broken through the SW gable to give access to an adjoining engine-house. The newel-stair originally gave direct access to all the floors as well as to the parapet-walk, but it now ends at the second floor. On the first floor it opens into a large room, a hall and kitchen combined, from which is entered a small vaulted chamber, partly formed within the NE gable and partly supported on the vault beneath. This large room has a fireplace in the middle of the NW wall; although the lintel is missing, one of the corbels that supported it is left, and in the SW jamb there is a small locker, probably a "salt-box". At the NE end of the same wall there is a small window, with a sink beneath it; at the other end a locker has been placed. The SE wall has one original window, with a seat on each side of its embrasure as well as a recently made opening farther NE. The only details to be traced on the floor above are a fireplace to the NW and a window facing SW.

In 1446 Sir Walter Scott of Buccleugh acquired the lands of Goldielands by excambion. (W Fraser 1878) Walter Scot of Goldielands was one of the band that rescued Kinmont Willie from Carlisle Castle in 1596. (Border Papers 1896) The tower goes back to this Walter's time. His tombstone, originally in St. Mary's Church, Hawick, is now in Hawick Museum (No. 244).

RCAHMS 1956, visited 1931

The tower is as described by RCAHMS. There are no surveyable remains of the barmkin.

Visited by OS (EGC) 19 February 1965.


Sbc Note

Visibility: Upstanding building, which may not be intact.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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