Scheduled Monument

Orchardton TowerSM90233

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Secular: tower
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NX 81696 55128
281696, 555128


The monument comprises the remains of the late 15th-century circular tower house known as Orchardton Tower, surviving as earthworks, substantial stone structures and as buried archaeology. Orchardton Tower was first scheduled in 1921 but is being re-scheduled now because no adequate documentation can be traced from the time of the original scheduling.

The lands of Orchardton belonged to the Cairns family, and John Cairns erected a residence on them in the middle of the 15th century.

Orchardton Tower is a free-standing tower, uniquely circular in plan, although in other respects closely resembling the arrangements to be found in the smaller rectangular castles of the 15th century. It is a small rubble-built structure, four storeys in height, the wall-head being crowned by a parapet and walk, and a small gabled cap-house. It is now roofless. The tower did not stand alone: the remains of a barmkin wall, now reduced to turf-covered mounds, lie to the N, E and S of the tower. The remains of secondary buildings with vaulted basements lie to the SW.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. The area proposed for scheduling is concurrent with that of the property in the care of Historic Scotland. The area is irregular in plan with maximum dimensions of 54.25m N-S by 46m E-W, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The modern fences and boundary walls are excluded from the scheduling, as is the upper 300mm surface of the modern paths and car park, to allow for their maintenance.



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Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Orchardton Tower

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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

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Printed: 26/04/2019 03:34