Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

PRESTON, PRESTON TOWERLB17530

Status: Removed

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
05/02/1971
Date Removed:
26/10/2015
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
Parish
Prestonpans
NGR
NT 39026 74064
Coordinates
339026, 674064

Removal Reason

Dual designation

Description

15th century, with early 17th century additions, and later alterations. 4-storey L-plan tower house; surmounted by 2 storeys from 1626 with Renaissance detailing, including triangular and segmental pedimented windows with engaged obelisk finials, and decorative swept-up merlons. Random red sandstone rubble, with grey sandstone dressings. Bartizans to external angles. Long and short quoins. Lip corbelled parapet.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3-bay, comprising round-arched opening to left of centre at ground; former doorway to left at 1st floor with raggle of former platform and roof evident above and below; window to right, between 1st and 2nd floor; window centred at 3rd floor; large corbel of former box machicolation projecting to left at parapet; 17th century addition with window centred at 1st floor, windows at centre and left of centre at 2nd floor.

N ELEVATION: 2-bay, predominantly blank; arrowslit opening centred at ground, 17th century addition with window to left at 1st floor, window centred at 2nd floor.

W ELEVATION: 2-bay, with bay to right advanced, comprising arrowslit opening to left of centre at ground, windows to left and right of centre at 1st floor; small window at re-entrant angle to return at 1st floor; 17th century addition with doorway to left of centre at parapet, window to right of centre at 2nd floor; single windows centred at both floor to return; circular entrance turret with square base in re-entrant angle, with door facing N, single small windows at base, and centred above.

S ELEVATION: 3-bay, irregularly fenestrated, comprising pairs of narrow stair lights to left at 1st floor, between 2nd and 3rd floors, and at 3rd floor; single windows to right of centre at 2nd and 3rd floors; 17th century addition with 3 evenly spaced windows to both floors.

INTERIOR: not seen, 2000. Barrel-vaulted basement. Semi-circular barrel-vaulted Hall. Remains of 15th century fireplace in N gable of Hall.

Statement of Special Interest

Scheduled Monument (scheduled with the dovecot 13.12.2000). A Group with Preston Tower Walls and Gatepiers and Preston Tower Dovecot (see separate listings). Home of the Hamiltons of Preston from the mid 15th century. Burnt in 1544 by the Earl of Hertford as part of Henry VIII's so-called 'Rough Wooing', and burnt again in 1650 by Cromwell's troops, after the battle of Dunbar. Unusually, the tower house was extended upwards by Sir John Hamilton (1565-1644), from 1626, and the initials on the upper storey pediments read 'SIDKH' for Sir John and his wife Dame Katherine Hamilton. The tower was burned for a third time in 1663, by accident, and afterwards ceased to be occupied. The last male of the direct line of Hamiltons of Preston was the Robert Hamilton who led the covenanters at Bothwell Bridge and Drumclog, and who died in 1701. Although ruinous, Preston Tower is in good condition, and the detailing of the 17th century addition contrasts with the massiveness of 15th century building below.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTY OF EAST LOTHIAN (1924), pp101-3; D MacGibbon and T Ross, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, Vol I (1971), pp225, 317; C McWilliam, LOTHIAN (1978), pp393-4; N Tranter, THE FORTIFIED HOUSE IN SCOTLAND (1986), pp52-53; D Howard, SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE FROM REFORMATION TO RESTORATION 1560-1660 (1995), p82.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see www.historicenvironment.scot. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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