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Overton Tower

Bastle (Medieval), Farmstead (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Overton Tower

Classification Bastle (Medieval), Farmstead (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Overton Hill; Overton Bush

Canmore ID 56934

Site Number NT61SE 9

NGR NT 68482 12846

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NT61SE 9 68482 12846

(NT 6850 1284) Overton Tower (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, (1958)

Overton Tower: Although listed as a tower, this ruin has definite affinities with the group typified by the pele-house (bastle) of Mervinslaw (NT61SE, qv).

It differs, however, from the true pele-house in that it is built in lime mortar. Another difference is that each of the principal floors has a fireplace in the W gable. It is oblong on plan, measuring 35 1/2ft from E to W by 23 1/2ft from N to S, and has been two storeys and a garret in height, each floor containing a single chamber. While both gables are mainly entire, its side walls are greatly reduced. The masonry is rubble. Any freestone dressings have been torn out.

The entrance to the ground floor has evidently been at the S end of the E gable. That of the first floor cannot now be traced. On the E of the building there can be traced part of an enclosure or peel.

This is presumably the 'strong tower house' erected by Robert Frissel (Fraser) in the last quarter of the 16th century 'aunempste the head of Read water'.

RCAHMS 1956, visited 1932

Overton Tower is situated on an artificial terrace and is as described by the RCAHMS. Adjoining its E side are the footings of a range of buildings (? the enclosure mentioned by the RCAHMS) while further to the E is the outline of another building. These, together with several field banks in the area, no doubt form the remains of a later farmstead.

Visited by OS (EGC) 6 March 1967

Scheduled as tower.

Information for Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 24 January 2000

Two unroofed buildings, one of which is a long building of two compartments, are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Roxburghshire 1863, sheet xxvii). One large unroofed building, annotated as Overton Tower (Remains of), and an attached enclosure which is marked by pecked lines are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1982).

Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 8 August 2000


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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