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Tranent Tower

Dovecot (Post Medieval), Tower House (16th Century)

Site Name Tranent Tower

Classification Dovecot (Post Medieval), Tower House (16th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Tranent Castle

Canmore ID 55007

Site Number NT47SW 3

NGR NT 40483 73047

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Tranent
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT47SW 3 4048 7305.

(NT 4048 7305) Tower (NR)

OS 6" map (1967)

Tranent Tower: This L-plan tower dates probably from the late 16th century. It measures 24'10" N-S by 36'6" transversely, with a square stair-tower projecting S at the W end. The walls rise to 3 storeys, with the stair-tower a storey higher. The upper storey, originally containing a watch-chamber, has late been used as a dovecot; its roof is pantiled and the gables crowstepped. Its fabric is in poor condition, and the roof is falling in. Little is known of its history, it would seem to have been built as a country lairds' house on a small scale. About the beginning of the 17th century, the property was aquired by the Vallance family who retained it till last century.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 1920; N Tranter 1962

As described. Name confirmed. Poor condition.

Visited by OS (RD) 4 January 1972

Architecture Notes


Late 16th century house. L-shaped. Square stair tower. Now a stable.


Field Visit (6 April 1920)

Off Church Street, Tranent, is the ruin of a tower, which to-day is utilised as a stable and hay loft. On plan it is L-shaped, the shorter limb being formed by a square tower, which projects southward from the south-west angle of the main block and houses a wheel-stair. The overall dimensions are 24 feet 10 inches from north to south by 36 ½ feet from east to west. The building is of rubble and has been harled. It is three storeys in height, and the basement only is vaulted; the roof is covered with pantiles and the gables are crowstepped. The windows, which are unusually small, have chamfered jambs and lintels. On each floor are two intercommunicating chambers, from the western of which the stair enters. The stair ascends from ground to the third floor, above which level the tower contains a dovecot with stone nests. The west room on the first floor has a large built up fireplace in the gable with aumbry recess adjoining and a stone sink with slop drain in the south wall. The tower may date from the late 16th century.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 6 April 1920.


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