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Kirkconnel Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Kirkconnel Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 66635

Site Number NY17NE 3

NGR NY 1918 7523

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 Hoddom
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Annandale And Eskdale
  • Former County Dumfries-shire

Archaeology Notes

NY17NE 3.00 1918 7523.

NY17NE 3.01 1898 7525 Earthwork

NY17NE 3.02 1914 7527 Ice-house (possible)

NY17NE 3.03 1920 7516 Ditches

Not to be confused with Kirkconnel Tower, Springkell in Kirkpatrick-Fleming parish (NY27NE 3).

(NY 1918 7523) Kirkconnel Tower (NR) (remains of)

OS 25" map (1970)

Kirkconnel Tower is noted as a site by the RCAHMS. However, in 1898, G Irving (1900) notes that its entire N wall (38 ft long) and parts of the E and W sides (16 ft and 13 ft long respectively) remained. He also describes a 6 ins plinth at the base of the wall, 3 ft above ground on the outside, but only a few inches high inside, due to the level of the lawn. The interior had apparently been vaulted and there were signs of a spiral staircase in the NE corner. A gun-loop was placed centrally in the N wall.

This tower, a stronghold of the Irvings, took its name from, and succeeded an earlier Kirkconnel Tower (see NY27NE 3). An alternative name of Ecclefechan Hall or Ecclefechan is given, Irving adding that the Irving family moved here in 1609. This date of building would not be inconsistent with Maxwell-Irving's statement that the majority of Border towers with gun-loops were built in the late 16th century. (The present Kirkconnel Hall, at NY 1924 7524, now a hotel, is modern).

RCAHMS 1920; A M T Maxwell-Irving 1974

All that remains of this tower are the N wall and the NW angle.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 23 May 1966

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS (IA) 20 February 1973

Kirkconnel Tower was visited to search for evidence of the old landscape which AP work had already failed to reveal. The area has heavy tree cover and has been landscaped in the 19th/20th centuries. Fieldwork provided several new pieces of information (for which, see NY17NE 3.01 - 3.03).

MP Robins 1993.

All that is visible of Kirkconnel Tower, a tower-house probably of 15th-century date, is a fragment of its NW angle (10.7m from E to W by 5.1m transversely over a wall 2m thick). The masonry is of coursed rubble and of substantial size. The N wall has a plinth with a chamfered offset, and, directly above the plinth, there is a wide-mouthed gunloop. On the N side of the interior, there is a cut-back haunch for a ground-floor vault, and, at first-floor level on the W there is a mural recess, probably a fireplace, which has been robbed of its dressings.

Visited by RCAHMS (IMS, PC), 25 August 1993.

Kirkconnel Tower, Ecclefechan. Listed as tower.

RCAHMS 1997.


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