Scheduled Monument

Dryhope Tower,tower house and settlementSM6161

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Secular: enclosure; house; tower
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 26681 24707
326681, 624707


The monument consists of the remains of a medieval tower house with a nearby settlement of similar or slightly later date.

The rectangular tower house measures roughly 10m by 7m externally with walls about 1.6m thick. The walls survive above the second storey with probably only an attic missing. The ground floor is entered by a round headed door in the N wall. It has lost its stone vault. The only other openings at this level are gun loops in the W, E and S walls, though those in the W and E walls have been blocked and cannot be seen from outside. The stair to the other floors rises within the thickness of the NE corner of the tower though the walls separating the turnpike from the chambers and virtually all the treads have vanished. The first floor has three windows, one at the W end of each of the N and S walls and one in the E wall. They all have window seats in their recesses. The central third of the N wall is taken up by the great fireplace which has been robbed of any dressed stone. The rough stone corbels for the wooden ceiling are still in place though the floor above has gone. The second floor has one window in the E wall, above that on the floor below. There are slits in the N and S walls with broad internal splays. On the N wall there may have been a fireplace though loss of stone makes this difficult to be sure of. The whole storey is covered with its original stone vault with the splays of the slits in the N and S walls cutting into it. Only the stairwell is open to the sky.

Around the tower there are traces of several enclosures. While some of these may have been outlying buildings the most substantial were probably pens for livestock.

The area to be scheduled includes the tower and the traces of enclosures bordered by the burn to the E and modern field boundaries to the NW, W and S. It measures a maximum of 315m NNE-SSW by 190m NW- SE, as marked in red on the accompanying map. It excludes though the modern tank and its fence north west of the tower.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is an exceptionally well preserved early 17th century tower house. While it contains little architectural finesse, the survival of details of the interior such as aumbries marks it our as an important building in the study of such towers. Possibly most remarkable is the survival of the vault above the second storey. The obvious traces of the nearby enclosures help put the tower in the context of the agricultural community which supported it. The fact that these enclosures are still so clearly visible suggests that the archaeology of the area has been disturbed very little, offering the potential of increasing our knowledge of the arrangements beyond as well as within such towers.



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 22 SE 2.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 25/07/2024 08:53