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Mervinslaw Pele-house

Bastle (16th Century), Tower (16th Century)

Site Name Mervinslaw Pele-house

Classification Bastle (16th Century), Tower (16th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Mervinslaw Tower; Mervinslaw Peel House

Canmore ID 56915

Site Number NT61SE 18

NGR NT 67177 11754

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NT61SE 18 67177 11754.

(NT 6717 1173) Peel (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6"map, (1958).

Mervinslaw Tower (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6"map, Roxburghshire, (1924).

Pele-House, Mervinslaw: This little oblong building, two storeys and a garret in height, stands on the S slope of Mervin's Law. Apart from the loss of its roof it is intact, and shows no signs of having been repaired, although it dates from the 16th century. Its masonry is roughly coursed rubble, set in clay, and the numerous quarry-pits that are to be seen close to the building suggest that the material was obtained on the spot. It measures 25ft 6 1/2 ins from NW to SE by 21ft 1 in transversely over walls about 4ft in thickness, the wall-heads being about 18ft high. Each storey contains a single unvaulted apartment. The ground floor entrance is in the SE; the first floor must have been reached via an external ladder or forestair abutting on the SW wall, in which there is an entrance. The garret, which must have been reached by an inside ladder, has one small window facing SE. The hillside below the SE gable has been scooped out to a depth varying from 2ft to 6ft; this excavation, roughly D-shaped, which seems to have been bounded on its lower and straight side by a wall, extends over an area measuring some 50 yds from NW to SE by 45 yds transversely. Against this wall, and roughly in line with the pele-house, there are foundations of an oblong building which measure about 24ft from NW to SE by 13ft transversely within walls about 3ft thick and gables from 4ft to 5ft thick. Some 30 yds to the NE there are scanty remains of a second building, and 20ft beyond this a third building occupies the E corner of the enclosure. This last measures about 14ft from SW to NE within walls and gables which vary in thickness from 3ft to 7ft.

RCAHMS 1956.

Generally as described by the RCAHMS There are indications that the scooped area to the SE of the tower has extended further E than is stated by the RCAHMS.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS(EGC) 8 March 1967.

A medieval sword pommel, of possible 12th - 14thC date, found long ago at Mervinslaw is now in the NMAS, donated by Mr W Mason.

R B K Stevenson 1977.

This building is noted by the RCHM as a bastle.

(Undated) information in NMRS.


Note (3 November 2015)

This monument was delisted and was removed from the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

The structure is still designated as a scheduled monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Information from Historic Environment Scotland, 3rd November 2015

Sbc Note

Visibility: Upstanding building, which may not be intact.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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