Scheduled Monument

Lennox TowerSM6200

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
30/06/1995
Type
Secular: linear earthwork, dyke; tower
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Parish
Currie
NGR
NT 17375 67109
Coordinates
317375, 667109

Description

This monument consists of the remains of a 15th-century tower house on a small promontory with associated defensive ditches and banks. The remains stand to the top of the first storey on the NW and SW sides only, the other two sides remaining as footings only. The ground floor of the tower is entered by a round-headed door with holes for a draw bar to the north end of the NW wall.

Three barrel-vaulted cellars, connected by doors at the NW end of each, lay side by side filling this floor. Access to the upper floors was provided by a turnpike stair at the N corner. The first floor consisted of a large barrel-vaulted hall with a fireplace at the SW end. In the NW wall there is a window recess and an aumbry with a shelf. The SW wall contains two flues.

These may have been for a twin-flued hall fireplace or one may have continued down to the ground floor. Around the tower, there are traces of banks at the top of the slope down to the Water of Leith and a 2m deep ditch to the SE to defend against attack from the S. The area thus enclosed on the promontory is likely to be archaeologically rich with traces of other buildings probably lying below the ground level.

The area to be scheduled is bounded on the SW and the NE by small streams, to the SE by the garden boundary and to the NW 2m beyond the top of the slope down to the river. The area is irregular in shape measuring a maximum of 80m N-S by 100m E-W as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because, although missing two walls, it gives a clear indication of the layout of the lower two floors of a fine 15th-century tower house. The masonry is of a very high quality, approaching ashlar rather than the usual rubble build. This quality is echoed in the fine barrel vault which covered the hall and the barrel vaults over the window and door recesses. The corner staircase rising to the first floor is not common for a building of this size and date when an external stair is more common in linking the ground floor with the hall above.

The tower is said to have been a popular residence of the Stewart King up to James IV, a story which is consistent with quality of the masonry. In addition to the building's architectural merits, the surrounding area may well contain evidence of ancillary buildings and defences which could contribute to the understanding of the domestic and defensive arrangements of a prestigious late-medieval stronghold.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NT 16 NE 14.

Reference:

MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v, Vol. 3, 224, Edinburgh.

RCAHMS (1929) Inventory of Midlothian and West Lothian, 57, No. 67, Edinburgh.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. 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 www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

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Printed: 19/11/2018 10:01