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Whitslaid Tower

Tower House (16th Century)

Site Name Whitslaid Tower

Classification Tower House (16th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Whiteslade

Canmore ID 55906

Site Number NT54SE 1

NGR NT 55756 44546

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Legerwood
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
  • Former County Berwickshire

Archaeology Notes

NT54SE 1 55756 44546

Not to be confused with Whitslaid Tower (NT 4285 1796) in Ashkirk parish, for which see NT41NW 6; or Whitslade Tower (NT 1125 3506) in Broughton, Glenholm and Kilbucho parish, for which see NT13NW 11.

(NT 5575 4454) Whitslaid Tower (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map (1968)


The ruins of Whitslaid Tower occupy a site of considerable natural strength, having the Leader Water on the W side and a deep ravine to the N. The existing fragment is a simple oblong on plan, measuring some 25ft by 16ft 10ins within walls averaging 7ft in thickness. The main entrance has been at the N end of the E wall giving direct access to a vaulted basement lighted by a narrow opening in the S wall. From the S in-go of this doorway, a flight of straight steps ascends in the thickness of the S and E walls to the great hall on the first floor. At this level the walls are very much ruined, but indications of windows in the side walls and a fireplace in the N wall can still be seen. A recess in the SW angle has evidently served as a garde-robe having a built flue withan outlet near ground level. There appears to have been a wheel-stair formed at the SW angle leading from the platt at the entrance to the hall to the level of the attic floor above. The upper part of the castle has been reconstructed in the form of a gabled house at a late date. The whole was originally built of rough rubble, and is now in a very ruinous state. The quoin-stones within easy reach of the ground have been torn-out, and the total height to the wall-head is 23ft.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 1912; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1892

The lands of Whytslaid are mentioned in a charter of Robert II, dated 1371. In the mid-17th century the tower was owned by William Montgomery of Makbiehill.

A Thomson 1902

Whitslaid Tower is a roofless ruin, rising to some 8m on the W, S and E sides; the N wall has collapsed into a tumbled mass, revealing the barrel-vaulted basement. The general form is that of a plain rectangular keep, similar to Corsbie Tower (NT64SW 1), which dates from the 16th century.

Visited by OS (JFC) 16 February 1955

As described by the previous authorities.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 1 October 1962.


Sbc Note

Visibility: Upstanding building, which may not be intact.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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