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Whiteside Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Whiteside Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 57165

Site Number NT63NW 12

NGR NT 64362 38375

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Very little has survived of Whiteside Tower, a ruined example of a Borders pele tower which stands to the south of Whiteside Plantation, near Mellerstain House.

Whiteside was the old name for the estate later known as Mellerstain. In the fifteenth century, the lands of Whiteside were evidently given by King James II to Patrick Haliburton, son of Lord Haliburton, subsequently passing into the hands of the Haitlie family, who may have been responsible for the building of this structure in the sixteenth century.

All that remains is the vaulted basement, and even this is now largely obscured as a result of turf build-up. On plan, the building took the form of a simple rectangle, within walls that measured just over 1m thick.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

Archaeology Notes

NT63NW 12 64362 38375

(NT6435 3837) Whiteside Tower (NR) (In ruins)

OS 6" map, Berwickshire, 2nd ed., (1909).


Nothing remains of this structure except the vaulted basement. The tower has been a single rectangle in plan, 53' long by 25' wide, with walls 3' thick.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 1908.



The vaulting remaining is now turf-covered. The remains, which are in a poor state of preservation, measure 16m by 7.5m, with walls 1.1m thick.

Visited by OS (JD) 23 May 1955.

The ruins of this structure are comparable with the 16th century Peel Towers of the Border (cf. Thirlestane, Berwick 20 NW 3; Corsbie, Berwick 26 NE 1 etc.) and probably date from this period.

Visited by OS (JLD) 26 May 1955

As described above.

Visited by OS (RDL) 14 September 1962.


Field Visit (23 October 1908)

130. Whiteside Tower.

Situated in the upper end of a cultivated field ½ mile south by west of Mellerstain House, and about 4 miles east of Earlston, are the ruins of Whiteside Tower. Nothing remains but the vaulted basement. The tower has been a simple rectangle in plan, 53 feet long by 25 feet wide, with walls 3 feet thick.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 23rd October 1908.

OS Map: Ber., xxvii. SW.

Sbc Note

Visibility: Upstanding building, which may not be intact.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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