Ancient Monuments

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Evelaw Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Berwickshire, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.7652 / 55°45'54"N

Longitude: -2.5415 / 2°32'29"W

OS Eastings: 366118

OS Northings: 652564

OS Grid: NT661525

Mapcode National: GBR B1PS.K5

Mapcode Global: WH8X4.XCX4

Entry Name: Evelaw Tower

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5654

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Westruther

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Traditional County: Berwickshire


The monument consists of an early seventeenth-century defensive residence called Evelaw Tower.

The L-plan tower has had three storeys and a garret. It remains relatively complete apart from a large breach in the re-entrant angle. The main block lies E-W with the N wing projecting about 3m from the NW corner. It has rounded angles corbelled out to the square at eaves level. A corbel table runs around the N projecting wing and the eaves of the main block but it is not returned around the gables.

Built against the N elevation is a farm steading which blocks the re- entrant. The tower is constructed in red/purple rubble bonded with lime mortar and has red sandstone dressings. It measures 10.7m E-W by 9.7m N-S overall. The N wing projects about 3m from the main block.

The top floor of the N wing is vaulted. The basement of the main block has been vaulted and has contained a kitchen with a hearth in the W gable.

The original entrance, the stair to the first floor and

the remains of a projecting corbelled stair to the upper floor levels have been in the re-entrant angle. The hall has been in the first floor of the main block with the bedrooms above. Evelaw has small rectangular windows which have been barred and shotholes with square ends in the S and E basement walls. A later entrance has been cut in

the W wall.

The area to be scheduled is rectilinear, extending 2m from the exterior walls of the tower, but excluding the adjoining farmbuildings, measuring a maximum of 14.7m E-W by 13.7m N-S, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a good example of a late medieval fortified tower of considerable strength built by William Douglas shortly after 1576. It demonstrates the obvious need for security at that time, rather than comfort and sophistication, and is characteristic of such buildings in the Border country. Although not well documented, the lands of Evelaw (Ivelie, Yfle) appear to have formed an estate owned by Dryburgh Abbey, prior to the transfer to the Douglases shortly prior to the erection of the dwelling.

The surviving upstanding structure provides evidence and has the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation and analysis, which may contribute to our understanding of domestic and defensive architecture, land tenure and economy, social organisation and the material culture of the inhabitants during its occupation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 65 SE 2.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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