Gilnockie Tower, Scottish Borders.

This afternoon, I am focusing on Gilnockie Tower in the Scottish Borders region. This is the only survivor from around 60-80 stone or wooden towers of similar design in the region of Eskdale, Ewesdale and Liddesdale. The Tower dates from the 16th century and is situated on the west bank of the River Esk. The Tower is privately owned but is cared for by Armstrong Clan Association due to the historic connections with that Clan.

Inside Gilnockie Tower

The Tower was originally named Holehouse (house by the hole) with hole referring to the nearby quarry formed when the Tower was originally built.It was registered as Gilnockie in 1937 and as Gilnockie Tower in 1981. At the latter date it was described as “this oblong tower-house of 16th century date stands to a height of four storeys and a garret and bears a beacon-stance on the SSW gable. Attributed to the Armstrongs.” There is speculation that the Tower was connected with the infamous Johnnie Armstrong, the last Chief of Clan Armstrong.

The Tower is unoccupied but visits can be arranged by appointment.

Inside Gilnockie Tower

Gilnockie Tower is located close to the village of Canonbie, five miles south of Langholm and sixteen miles directly north of Carlisle.

Stairs at Gilnockie Tower

Clan Armstrong motto

A visit to the Tower usually features in a Clan Armstrong and/or Border Reivers tour of Scotland.

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