Probably 1582 with later additions. 3-storey and attic, rectangular plan tower-house overlooking the Gala Water. Largely complete to wallhead with staircase tower projecting at NE angle and later 18th century 2-storey addition to S flank. Remains of rectangular barmkin wall with round-arched gateway with edge-roll and hood-mould adjoins to SE.
Tower: whinstone rubble with whinstone quoins and freestone dressings to doors and windows with various moulded surrounds, one with a fleur-de-lys motif. Oval gunloop to N wall. Flat skews to wallhead. Doorway to E wall at 1st floor level. Vaulted cellar room to ground entered by door to S.
18th century S wing addition: entrance to W elevation; offset mullioned window above right; further windows above and to right of entrance. Linteled fire place with evidence of moulded capitals at upper level.
Statement of Special Interest
SCHEDULED MONUMENT. A fine example of a 16th century tower house survival, sited prominently on high ground on the N bank of Gala Water. Buckholm Tower retains a significant proportion of its early fabric with projecting stairtower, courtyard and gateway, and 18th century wing, all featuring elements of the early carved stone detailing.
Unusually for a tower of this date, Buckholm has two entrances. The ground floor entrance, situated in the re-entrant angle of the wing, leads directly to the vaulted cellar which does not communicate with the upper floors. The 2nd entrance doorway to the upper levels of the tower is located in the E wall and would have been reached by a bridge or arched forestair from the rectangular barmkin. The surviving S wall of the barmkin contains a fine semi-circular arched gateway, above which would have run a wallwalk carried on slab corbels. Some evidence of the E barmkin ranges remain.
The variety of mouldings to windows, including rounded arrises or pilastered detail, can also be seen at neighbouring towers of Hillslap and Aikwood (see separate listings). It shares a number of parallels with Hillslap of 1585 including the unusual absence of freestone quoins despite the use of sandstone dressings elsewhere, and the partitioned barrel-vaulted store-room to ground, suggesting the hand of the same mason in both buildings.
Understood to have been built by John Pringle of Buckholm. A Pringle family coat of Arms dated 1582, formely located above the main 1st floor entrance of Buckholm Tower, has been removed to Torwoodlee House (see separate listing). The gunloop to the N wall appears to be the principal surviving evidence of the towers former defensive capacity.
Remains of single-story structures to the N and E of the tower probably were a range of associated byre and steading buildings known as 'Old Buckholm'. In 1956 the RCAHMS Inventory notes that the tower had ' only recently become ruinous'.
Change of category from B to A (12 October 1999). Scheduled (16 January 2000). List description updated at resurvey (2010).