Ancient Monuments

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Dryhope Tower,tower house and settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Selkirkshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.5106 / 55°30'38"N

Longitude: -3.1625 / 3°9'44"W

OS Eastings: 326681

OS Northings: 624707

OS Grid: NT266247

Mapcode National: GBR 64CQ.3F

Mapcode Global: WH6VR.DR8C

Entry Name: Dryhope Tower,tower house and settlement

Scheduled Date: 20 February 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6161

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: enclosure

Location: Yarrow

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Selkirkshire

Traditional County: Selkirkshire


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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 22 SE 2.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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