Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Malcolm Canmore's Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Dunfermline Central, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0699 / 56°4'11"N

Longitude: -3.467 / 3°28'1"W

OS Eastings: 308773

OS Northings: 687316

OS Grid: NT087873

Mapcode National: GBR 1Y.PF37

Mapcode Global: WH5QR.QP8K

Entry Name: Malcolm Canmore's Tower

Scheduled Date: 5 February 1992

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5287

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Dunfermline

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Dunfermline Central

Traditional County: Fife


The monument consists of the foundations of a rubble built,

rectangular tower enclosed by an oval shaped modern wall, 1m high.

The only surviving portion of the tower is L shaped, measuring 13m N-S by 4m E-W. The thickness of the foundations varies from 2 to 4m. The facing courses have disappeared leaving the character of the building indeterminate but the masonry may be of 12th to 13th century date. The remains have been consolidated somewhat. The site has been periodically excavated since Victorian times, and much of it has been stripped down to bedrock. The site's value lies in its probable association with the founding of the Royal Burgh of Dunfermline, it being thought to have been the residence of Malcolm III. The coat of arms of Dunfermline depicts a round tower with a crenellated parapet, traditionally said to represent Malcolm Canmore's Tower, between two lions rampant.

The area to be scheduled is oval 20m E-W by 16m N-S, and specifically excludes the modern boundary wall, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because few structures of this period survive to the present day. It preserves archaeological evidence that may answer questions concerning the origins and initial development of the Royal Burgh. Although these links can not as yet be confirmed, it is a feature that is associated in the national consciousness with the early Scottish Royalty, history and foundation of the Royal Burgh of Dunfermline.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT08NE 2.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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