Ancient Monuments

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Howlet's House,towerhouse and enclosures

A Scheduled Monument in Penicuik, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8487 / 55°50'55"N

Longitude: -3.2893 / 3°17'21"W

OS Eastings: 319371

OS Northings: 662473

OS Grid: NT193624

Mapcode National: GBR 50GT.N7

Mapcode Global: WH6T4.F8W4

Entry Name: Howlet's House,towerhouse and enclosures

Scheduled Date: 4 May 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5682

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: chapel; Secular: enclosure

Location: Penicuik

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Penicuik

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument consists of the remains of a small tower dwelling, probably of 15th or 16th century date, and a number of attached enclosures which may represent further dwellings.

The main structure, surviving in fragments, is the base of a rectangular tower 6.6m N-S by 7m E-W over walls 1m thick. The N wall survives to 2.2m high, and curves inwards at the top, indicating that the structure was barrel vaulted on its ground level. A small window and four joist-holes survive in this wall. Fragments of the S wall survive to 1.2m high.

The E and W walls are reduced to grass-covered foundations. To the E are slight traces of a smaller attached building. To the W, and angled to the W wall of the tower, is a large enclosure, subdivided by a central wall. This enclosure seems more likely to have been a yard than a large attached building, but little survives. There is nothing in the surviving structures to support the antiquarian suggestion that this is a priest's dwelling.

The area to be scheduled is triangular, 7om E-W by a maximum of 35m N-S, and defined on the N by a small burn. The easternmost point of the scheduled area is on the W side of the road running up the NW side of Loganlee Reservoir. The area to be scheduled is marked in red

on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an unusually small tower dwelling in a remote location with an obscure history. Further investigations, both documentary and archaeological, may reveal more of the background to this structure, which is strategically located in one of the few low-level gaps through the Pentland Hills, and of its relationship to other, more substantial, medieval fortifications in the vicinity.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 16 SE 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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