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Amisfield Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Amisfield Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 65817

Site Number NX98SE 13

NGR NX 99203 83800

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Tinwald
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Nithsdale
  • Former County Dumfries-shire

Archaeology Notes

NX98SE 13 99203 83800.

(NX 9920 8379) Tower (NR)

OS 6" map (1969)

Amisfield Tower, completed in 1600, is an outstanding example of compact tall building. On plan, the base is almost square, measuring externally 28 1/2 ft N-S by 31 1/2 ft transversely, and rises to a total height of 77 ft. Beneath the wall-head there are four storeys; within the roof is an attic with a garret above. Numbers of turrets of various shapes and sizes have been placed on the upper storeys.

Maxwell-Irving considers that the entire basement and the lower parts of the hall walls pre-date the rest of the tower by sixty or more years. Despite a good attempt at matching the masonry to form a homologous whole, along the N wall a few incomplete courses of ashlar divide the rubble work; in the W wall the rubble work just perceptibly changes its character; and in the S wall, the lower part of a possible first-floor entrance may be traced above the lower one. A careful survey of the basement reveals a structure erratic in its angles and measurements, contrasting with the quality of the later work. A carved wooden door from here is in the N M A S.

RCAHMS 1920, visited 1919; S Cruden 1960; A M T Maxwell-Irving 1974

There has been a castle of Amisfield or Hempisfield since the 12th century (see NX98SE).

Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc 1908

Amisfield Tower was in an excellent state of preservation when seen in 1964.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 22 June 1964

Architecture Notes

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection, DC23054-DC23053, 1924 - 1926 & 1975.


Field Visit (1996 - 2003)

Russell Coleman managed an Historic Scotland funded project to record medieval moated sites in Scotland. Gazetteers were produced for each regional council area between 1996 and 2002 with an uncompleted overall review in 2002-03. The results of the first year of the project were published in Tayside and Fife Archaeological Journal, Volume 3 (1997).


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