New articles on forgotten or overlooked castles, towers, old houses and other places as well as information on miscellaneous places.
Fife: About 2 miles north and west of Pittenweem, on minor road south of B9171, at or near Falside.
Site of tower or old house, the location of which is not certain. ‘Fosyd’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of the east part of Fife, then ‘Falsyde’ on Blaeu’s map of Fife, then ‘Fallside’ on Adair’s map of the east part of Fife, when the place is shown as a substantial building with gardens and wooded policies.
The lands were held by Pittenweem Priory in 1526. In 1612 Alexander Moncrieff of Falside, master falconer to James IV, had a ratification for the lands of Falside and Milton. Peter Hay of Falside is on record in 1663.
The farm is home to the St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company.
There is another Falside, to the south-east of Boarhills.
Fife: About 1.5 miles north-east of Cupar, on minor roads north of A91, at or near Foxton.
Site of tower or old house, the place marked as ‘Fookstoun’ on Blaeu’ map of the east part of Fife, then as ‘Foxtoun’ on Adair’s map of the east part of Fife.
Foxton House is a classical mansion of two storeys and a basement, dating from the early 19th century.
The property may have been held by the Ramsays around the beginning of the 16th century, then by the Airths by 1617 when George Airth of Foxtoun is on record. It appears to have gone to the Andersons, and George Anderson of Foxton is mentioned in a ratification for David Dewar of Muirton of 1685. John Malcolm of Foxton put his name to a petition of 1701.
Lothians: About 4.5 miles east of Edinburgh (Castle), on minor roads south of A199, east of A1, at or near Giberstoun.
Site of tower or old house, although the place is not marked on old maps.
The lands were held by the Suffach family in around 1200, then by the Ogilvies, but went to the Crichtons by the beginning of the 15th century (also see Brunstane House). A manor place is mentioned in 1542, and the Crichtons were still in possession in the 16th century. The property passed to the Maitlands of Lauderdale.
Lothians: About 4 miles east of Tranent, at or near A199, at or near village of Gladsmuir.
Site of tower or old house, and ‘Glades moore’ and ‘Gladsmoorestone’ are marked on Blaeu’s map of the Lothians, then as ‘Gladsmoor’ on Adair’s map of East Lothian, where it is depicted as a castle or house in a rectangular enclosure to the west and south of the church. The location is not certain.
Mr Robert Hodge of Gladsmuir is on record in 1662, when he was fined £600 in the Act containing some exceptions from the Act of Indemnity. Mary Hodge of Gladsmuir was the wife of Colonel James Gardiner of Bankton, who was slain at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. The lands of Glasmuir are recorded as being held by the burgh of Haddington.
The old ruinous parish church [NT 458733] dates from 1695 and stands in a burial ground with some interesting memorials dating from as early as the 18th century. It replaced an earlier church. The building stands to the north of the present parish church, dating from the 19th century and designed by William Burn.
Lothians: About 3.5 miles east and south of North Berwick, on minor roads east or south of A198, at or near Gleghornie.
Site of tower or old house, the location not certain. ‘Gleghorn’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of The Lothians, and then on Adair’s map of East Lothian. There was apparently a village here in medieval times, but little remains.
The property was held by the Wauchopes, and in 1618 George Wauchope of Glenhornie complained that his daughter Margaret had been viloently ravished by Patrick Home. Margaret and Patrick were later married that year, and it appears the girl may have preferred Patrick to the proposed husband chosen by her father… Brown of Cleghornie is mentioned in the Act anent supply of 1704.
John Mair was born at the village of Gleghornie around 1467, and was a professor of theology at Paris, then later Provost of St Salvator’s College in St Andrews.
Lothians: About 2 miles west and south of Edinburgh Castle, near A71 (Gorgie Road).
Site of tower or old house, nothing of which remains, dating from the 16th century or earlier. This was altered and extended in later centuries, but by 1953 had been completely demolished.
‘Gorgy’ and ‘Gorgymill’ are marked on Blaeu’s map of The Lothians, then ‘Gorgie’ on Adair’s map of Midlothian.
Gorgie was a property of the Hamiltons in 1527 when James Hamilton of Finnart gave it to James Hamilton of Shawfield, his cousin. John Shaw of Sornberg had a ratification of 1672 which mentions the lands but not a tower or manor; however John Chiesley (or Chiesly) of Gorgie has a ratification for Gorgie the same year which does mention the manor place. The property seems to have gone to the Browns, and John Brown of Gorgie Mill is on record in 1681.
Lothians: About 2 miles south and west of Loanhead, on minor road north of B7003 north of junction with A6094, south of North Esk, at Gorton House.
Set in extensive grounds and gardens, the present house, an L-plan edifice of two storeys, dates from the 17th century with later additions and remodelling. It does not appear to be on Blaeu’s map, but ‘Gortyn’ is marked on Adair’s map of Midlothian.
Gorton was another name for the lands and barony of Preston, which was a property of the Preston family (also see Craigmillar) from the 15th century or earlier. No tower or manor place is mentioned in a ratification of 1663 for Mr Robert Preston and his son.
‘Wallace’s Cave’ [NT 280632], near the house, is said to be able to hold some 60 or more men, and to have been used by William Wallace.
Lothians: About 1 mile south and east of Gorebridge, on minor road just west of A7, west of Gore Water, at Harvieston.
OPEN: House may be rented.
Tel: 01273 858206 Web: www.harviestonhall.co.uk
Set in mature gardens, Harvieston House, which dates from the 17th century with later work and remodelling in the 19th century and later, is an attractive two-storey and an attic house with harled
and white-washed walls and corbiestepped gables.
The place does not appear to be marked on Blaeu, but is depicted on Adair’s map of Midlothian and called ‘Hervistoun’. ‘Old castle’ is marked on Adair’s map on the opposite of the Water (probably Catcune).
The lands may have been a property of the Borthwicks in the 15th century before they built Borthwick Castle. The property was held by the Dundas family in the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th century the estate was owned by George Trotter Dewar of Cranston, when it was described as ‘of moderate size, with very thick walls, and having the lower part arched’. It went to the Browns, and it was later used as a school for boys by the Catholic church when it was known as St Aidan’s.
Lothians: About 3 miles west of Dunbar or 3 miles east of East Linton, on minor road south of A199, south of A1, at or near Hedderwick.
Site of tower or old house, marked on Blaeu’s map of East Lothian as ‘Hatherwick’, then on Adair’s map of East Lothian as ‘Hetherwick’. The farmhouse dates from the 19th century. Hedderwick Hill House [NT 639780] was a mansion, but this was blown up in 1961 and demolished although the stables and dairies, and a walled garden, dating from the late 18th century, survive.
Hedderwick was a property of the Hamiltons in 1672 when James Hamilton, merchant burgess of Edinburgh, had a ratification for the lands, although no tower or manor place is mentioned. He or another James Hamilton of Hedderwick is mentioned in 1696 and 1704.
Fife: About 3 miles north and west of Cupar, on minor roads south of A92, 1.5 miles south of Rathillet, at or near Hillciarnie.
Site of tower or old house, the place marked on Adair’s map of the east part of Fife as ‘Hillcairny’.
Robert Ross of Invernethie had a ratification for half the lands of Hillciarnie, with the manor place, dovecot, yards, orchards etc in 1672, and Patrick Ross of Hillcairnie is mentioned in 1704. The family appears to still have been in possession at the beginning of the 19th century.
Fife: About 3 miles north and west of Leven, on minor roads north of A916, at or near Kilmux.
Site of tower or old house, the location not certain. Kilmux House is a compact classical mansion of two storeys, which dates from 1830.
‘Kylmucks’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of Fife, then ‘Kilmucks’ on Adair’s map of the east part of Fife, when depicted in wooded policies.
The lands were probably held by the Wemyss family, but are mentioned in a ratification for Adam Bellenden of Kilconquhar, bishop of Dunblane, in 1621. By the middle of the 18th century Kilmux was held by the Duries, but it later went to James Byth Fernie, who built the present house and was an agricultural improver.
There was a colliery near here, the ruin of the beam engine house [NO 363043] surviving.
Fife: About 3.0 miles west and north of St Andrews, on minor roads south of A91, 1 mile south-ast of Guardbridge, at or near Kincaple.
Site of tower or old house, the property marked as ‘Kinkarke’ on Blaeu’s map of the east part of Fife, then ‘Keancaple’ on Adair’s map of the east part of Fife, although given no prominence. The lands were divided at an early date.
Kincaple House, a large sprawling mansion of three storeys, dates from 1789 but with large later additions.
Part of Kincaple was held by the Lentron family in the 17th century, and Robert Lentron was Provost of St Andrews in 1672. Robert Lentron of Kincaple added his name to Petition of the shire of Fife in 1701. This portion of the lands became known as Letrons Kincaple, and passed to the Meldrums, and they built the house and held the property in the 19th century. The house has been divided into flats.
Fife: About 2.1 miles south of St Andrews, on minor roads east of A915 or west of B9131, at or near North Lambieletham.
Site of tower or old house, the location uncertain. ‘Lamy Lathon’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of Fife, then ‘Lamb Lathem?’ on Adair’s map of the east part of Fife, when it is depicted in wooded policies. The lands were divided into North and South Lambieletham
James Wood of Lambiletham is mentioned in 1585, while David Wemyss, younger of Lambieletham, is on record in 1674.
Lothians: To the south of Dunbar, on minor roads south of A1087 or north of A1, at Lochend.
Site of tower or old house. The present ruins are from a two-storey house of the 17th century, including a gateway with the date 1684. There is a heraldic panel with the initials IB.
‘Lochend’ is marked on Blaeu”s map of The Lothians (there was a loch here), and then prominently on Adair’s map of East Lothian, where is depicted in walled policies and gardens.
The property was held by the Inglis family, and Robert Inglis of Lochend is mentioned in Judicial Proceedings of 1474. By 1617 the lands had gone to the Baillies when James Baillie of Lochend is on record in a ratification. Sir Gideon Baillie of Lochend is mentioned in 1641. Lochend went by marriage to the Sinclairs of Longformacus by 1680, and Sir John Sinclair of Lochend is on record in 1690. The house passed to the Warrenders of Bruntsfield, was remodelled by William Burn in 1826 but was destroyed by fire in 1859. Lochend was owned by the Tweedies in the middle of the 20th century. In 2013 the remaining fragments were delisted and threatened with demolition.
Lothians: About 2 miles north and west of Edinburgh (Castle), on minor roads north of A902, Pilton.
Site of tower or old house, the location not certain. ‘Pilmuse’ is on Blaeu’s map of the Lothians, and ‘Piltoun’ is marked on Adair’s map of Midlothian and is depicted as a substantial house with an enclosed and wooded garden.
The property was held by the Rollos (or Rollocks) in the 17th century, and Peter Rollo of Pilton was the Protestant Bishop of Dunkeld and a Lord of Session as Lord Pilton. He died in 1632. The property went to the Ainslies, and Sir Philip Ainslie of Pilton is on record in the 18th century. Members of the family are buried in an enclosure at Cramond kirkyard [NT 190768].
The house at Pilton was destroyed by fire in 1749 and was not rebuilt.
Fife: About 5 miles north-west of St Andrews, on minor roads north of A919, north-east of Leuchars, at Pitlethie.
Site of tower or old house, and ‘Pitlassie’ is marked on Gordon’s map of Fife, then as ‘Pitlathey’ on Blaeu’s map of the east part of Fife. ‘Pitleathie’ is depicted on Adair’s map of the east part of Fife and is shown as a castle in enclosed and wooded policies. A 17th-century panel is reset in Pitlethie House, a two-storey mansion which dates from the early 19th century. Substantial foundations are said to have been found in the gardens of the house before 1795 and the mansion was reputedly built from the older building, perhaps occupying part of the site.
The heraldic panel is said to bear the arms of Archbishop Alexander Stewart, who died along with (his father) James IV at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, and the king is said to have used Pitlethie for hunting. The property was probably held by the Bruces in the early part of the 17th century and possibly earlier, but may have gone to the Reids and Master James Reid of Pitlethie is mentioned in the 1641 Commission for the visitation of the University of St Andrews (although also see Pitlessie and this may be a confusion with that property). The property later went to the Lawsons, who were in possession in the first half of the 19th century.
Lothians: About 4 miles south-east of East Linton, on minor road south of B6370, 1 mile south of Stenton, at or near Pressmennan.
Site of tower or old house, the location not certain, marked as ‘Fattlipps’ on Blaeu’s map of the Lothians, then as ‘Presminnen’ on Adair’s map of East Lothian. The house is depicted in large wooded policies with a formal garden.
Pressmennan farm house dates from about 1870.
The park of Pressmennan is mentioned in a dispute between Robert Lauder of Biel and Robert Lauder of the Bass. By 1667 the lands were held by the Hamiltons, when Robert Hamilton of Pressmennan is mentioned. Robert Hamilton of Pressmennan, advocate, had a ratification of 1681, mentioning his ‘sad sufferings’ at the battles of Preston and Worcester. He was one of the Senators of the College of Justice.
Lothians: About 0.5 miles east of North Berwick, on minor road just north of A198, at or near Rhodes.
Site of tower or old house. Rhodes House, a two-storey house, dates from the 18th century with the later additions.
‘Rodes’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of The Lothians, and then on Adair’s map of East Lothian.
The lands were a property of the Homes in the middle of the 16th century when Gavin Homes of Rhodes is on record. The house was used as a farmhouse but has been divided.
Fife: To the east of Crail, on minor roads east of A917, at or near Sauchope.
Site of tower or old house, the location not certain. ‘Sachup’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of Fife, then ‘Sachope’ on Adair’s map of the east part of Fife. From the map the house seems to have been a modest edifice. The whole area of Sauchope was levelled and cleared for the building of an airfield in World War II.
The property was held by the Sauchopes, then by the Moncrieff family, and George Moncrieff of Sauchope is on record at the end of the 17th century and into the 18th century. John Moncrieff of Sauchope was a member of the Beggar’s Benison club. The property wend to the Woods, and John Wood of Sauchope is also buried in Crail Parish Church (see below). in the 19th century Sauchope was a property of General Graham Stirling of Duchray.
Members of the family were buried in the graveyard of Crail Parish Church on Marketgate [NO 613080], including George mentioned above, who died in 1707. The church is a fine building and there are many old memorials in the cemetery.
Lothians: About 1.0 mile south-east of Edinburgh Castle, on minor roads probably west of A700, at or near Sciennes.
Site of tower or old house. ‘Scheen’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of The Lothians, then ‘Shyns’ on Adair’s map of Midlothian. The name is pronounced ‘Sheenz’.
There was a chapel and a Dominican friary at Sciennes, established after the Battle of Flodden by widows or the kinswomen of those slain at the battle. It was taken over by the nunnery of St Catherine, the buildings were damaged during the Reformation, but were then used as a plague hospital until 1645 when mostly demolished. A plaque marked the place.
The property was held by the Johnstones, and Mr Samuel Johnstone is on record in 1643 and later, then William Johnstone of Sciennes (and later Westerhall or Westraw) in the 1690s and 1700s. William was an MP for Annan in the Scottish parliament, became a baronet in 1711, and supported the government in the Jacobite Rising of 1715.
Sciennes Hill House, which dates from the 18th century, but has been much altered and divided, was the house of Professor Adam Ferguson. It was here that the young Walter Scott met the famous poet Robert Burns in the 1780s.
Lothians: To south of Tranent, on minor roads east of B6414 and west of B6371, at or near Windygoul.
Site of tower or old house, the location speculative. Both ‘E. Windygoule’ and ‘W. Windygoule’ aare marked on Blaeu’s map of the Lothians, then ‘E. Windygoul’ and ‘W. Windygoul’ on Adair’s map of East Lothian. Easter Windyroul farmhouse survives.
This was a property of the Setons in the 17th century, and Sir Robert Seton of Windygoul, son of George Seton, 3rd Earl of Winton, was made a baronet in 1671 shortly before his death. The property was held by the Andersons of Windygoul in the 18th century. In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie had passed the house of Mr Anderson of Windygoul, kissing Miss Anderson, who brought him wine. The lands are mostly occupied by housing estates and a school.