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.