Ancient Monuments

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Boreland Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale North, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.2471 / 55°14'49"N

Longitude: -3.4716 / 3°28'17"W

OS Eastings: 306540

OS Northings: 595752

OS Grid: NY065957

Mapcode National: GBR 476R.6W

Mapcode Global: WH5VT.NC1W

Entry Name: Boreland Tower

Scheduled Date: 20 January 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10498

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Kirkpatrick-Juxta

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale North

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The monument comprises the remains of Boreland Tower, a 16th-century towerhouse. The tower is sited on a low cliff at about 140m OD, overlooking the Kinnel Water, and may have guarded an old ford to its N.

In the medieval period Boreland would have been at the centre of the Dumgree Estate, which was held by Kelso Abbey. The placename is indicative of an earlier site, perhaps a demense farm with the house of a baliff. Other placename evidence (the nearby farm of Parks) also points to the existence of a medieval hunting park in the vicinity; while Dumgree Church, only a kilometre to the NNW, was founded in the 12th century probably for the benefit of the estate tenants.

In 1408 the Earl of Douglas granted the lands of Dumgree, in the barony of Amisfield, to William de Johnston. King James II granted the ward of the lands to John Johnston in 1458 and the lands were granted in feu-farm to his armour-bearer Gilbert Johnston of Elphinstone in 1472. The superiority subsequently passed to the Charteris of Amisfield, while a 1594/5 charter granted the lands in feu-farm to John Johnston's heir. The present Boreland Tower would certainly have been built by this time.

The upstanding remains appear to date from the second half of the 16th century. All that remains is the vaulted ground floor, standing 3m high, but now open on the W and in use as a shed. The rectangular-plan tower originally measured about 10.7m by 6.5m, but now measures 9.1m from W to E by 6.3m transversely, over lime-mortared random rubble walls up to 1.1m thick. There was an entrance and stair in the SW corner. Two splayed window openings in the S wall survive with crudely dressed sandstone jambs and lintels; and a remodelled splayed high-level window with timber lintel is located in the E wall. The exterior angles of the tower were chamfered. Originally two or more storeys would have risen above the vaulted ground floor and the walls would have been rendered. The scant remains have been used as a shed for at least most of the 20th century.

A turf-covered stony bank, up to 7m wide and about 1m high, extends from the SE angle of the tower to the edge of the escarpment and drops downslope towards the river. This leaves an area, which probably served as a barmkin, on the NE side of the tower. The area was subsequently modified; a scarp and wall-footings both to the N and E of the tower, co-terminous with a third scarp up to 2m high at the head of the escarpment on the NNE, indicate the presence latterly of a spacious barmkin measuring 26.9m E-W by 20.4m N-S.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described above and an area around them within which related material is likely to survive. It is irregular in plan with maximum dimensions of 52m WSW-ENE by 40m NNW-SSE, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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