Ancient Monuments

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Shieldgreen Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Tweeddale West, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6774 / 55°40'38"N

Longitude: -3.1563 / 3°9'22"W

OS Eastings: 327381

OS Northings: 643267

OS Grid: NT273432

Mapcode National: GBR 62DS.GM

Mapcode Global: WH6TZ.HK6G

Entry Name: Shieldgreen Tower

Scheduled Date: 28 February 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8674

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Peebles

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale West

Traditional County: Peeblesshire


The monument consists of the remains of Shieldgreen Tower, a 16th century tower house surrounded by a rock cut ditch. The remains of Shieldgreen Tower stand on the S shoulder of Tower Rig.

The site is a rocky knoll which projects S from the main hill, its SW, S and SE sides falling steeply to the valley of the Soonhope Burn. For the remainder of its circuit the knoll is surrounded by a rock-cut ditch having a maximum width of 8.8m and a maximum depth of 2.5m. The tower was approached from the N across a causeway that has been left unexcavated. Within the N sector of the ditch, there are two transverse stone walls of comparatively modern construction, forming what was probably a sheepfold.

Only the lowest portion of the tower survives, and this is almost completely buried beneath the debris crowning the knoll. There are large masses of masonry, still bound in lime mortar, spread about the site, which suggests that the building was deliberately destroyed by using explosives. Three external angles of the building are visible, and it appears that the tower measured 8.2m NW-SE by 7.2m over walls 1.6m thick.

The plan and dimensions of the tower suggest that it was erected in the 16th century, when Shieldgreen appears to have been occupied by the Stoddart family. In 1656, it passed to the Earl of Tweeddale, and in 1666 to Peebles Town Council with whom it remained until the mid-19th century.

The area to be scheduled is circular in shape, with a diameter of 55m to include the remains of Shieldgreen Tower, the rock cut ditch, and an area around it, which has the potential for associated archaeology: as marked in red on the accompanying map extract. The top 30cm of the surface of the roadway within the scheduled area is excluded from the scheduling to enable minor repair and alterations without the need for scheduled monument consent.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a small, late-medieval tower house, surrounded by a rock cut ditch. The form of the tower's destruction, being blown up, is interesting in itself, but also have helped to preserve potentially rich archaeological deposits. The archaeology of this monument has the potential greatly to increase our knowledge about the defences, domestic life and function of such monuments.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 24 SE 41.


RCAHMS (1967) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Peeblesshire: an inventory of the ancient monuments, 2v, Edinburgh, 269, No. 528.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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