Ancient Monuments

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Tushielaw Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Selkirkshire, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.4437 / 55°26'37"N

Longitude: -3.1073 / 3°6'26"W

OS Eastings: 330049

OS Northings: 617202

OS Grid: NT300172

Mapcode National: GBR 65RH.2D

Mapcode Global: WH6W5.7FLN

Entry Name: Tushielaw Tower

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6451

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Ettrick

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Selkirkshire

Traditional County: Selkirkshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a tower house and its associated buildings, situated on the E slope of Tushie Law, W of the B709 road.

The monument comprises the remains of a small, oblong tower some 7.3m N-S by about 8.8m E-W on plan. This is the northernmost of 4 buildings which once enclosed an open court of irregular shape. The buildings on the W and E sides are now represented by their foundations. A storehouse on the SE corner is connected to the tower by the remains of a wall. The storehouse is fairly complete up to the crown of the vault that covers the basement.

It is entire for nearly a third of its total length of approximately 19.7m. Its width varies from about 7.2m at the N end to some 6.4m at the S. The basement is entered from the W and is lit by roughly-formed slits in all 4 walls. There is an aumbry in the N gable. Below the vault there has been a loft.

On the E side of the court a wall of enclosure runs N in line with the E wall of the storehouse for approximately 10m, then turns W to meet an extension of the E wall of the tower. To the N and E of the court and buildings there is a walled enclosure some 12.5m N-S and approximately 16.2m E-W.

In 1507 James IV granted a feu charter of the forest stead and lands of "Truschelaw" to Adam Scott with the right to build a tower and fortalice. This laird, the "king of theivis" according to Bishop Leslie, was convicted in 1530 of "theftuously taking Black-maill" and was beheaded. The manor of Tuschelaw is on record in 1592, but in the 'Retours' of 1633 only the lairds are mentioned.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the visible remains and an area around them in which traces of associated activity may be expected to survive. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 100m N-S by 70m E-W as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its contribution, and potential to contribute through excavation, to our understanding of late medieval domestic defensive architecture and the lives of the castle's inhabitants. Its importance is increased by the survival of the remains of buildings associated with the tower's courtyard.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NT 31 NW 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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