The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland
The Castles of Scotland 

Elphinstone Tower

Lothians: About 2 miles south and west of Tranent, south of Elphinstone, on minor road south of B6414, at Elphinstone Tower or Castle.

 

Ruin or site   NT 391698   OS: 66   EH33 2LZ

Elphinstone Tower has been reduced to the base, but was an impressive tower, long held by the Elphinstone family, in the village of Elphinstone, near Tranent, in East Lothian in southeast Scotland. Elphinstone Tower: demolished (Fraser, 1897)

Elphinstone Tower (or Castle) was externally a simple 14th-century tower of three storeys. The tower had a stone-flagged and corbelled-out parapet with prominent gargoyles and a caphouse at one corner and open rounds at the others. There was an adjoining mansion, but this and the tower have been demolished.
  The basement was vaulted. The hall and original kitchen, screened by a partition, were on the first floor, and this storey was also vaulted. The upper floors contained private chambers. Many small rooms and stairs were contained in the thickness of the walls, including a peephole, where the hall could be watched in secret.

Elphinstone Tower has been reduced to the base, but was an impressive tower, long held by the Elphinstone family, in the village of Elphinstone, near Tranent, in East Lothian in southeast Scotland. Elphinstone Tower (M'Neill, 1884)
Plans and section, Elphinstone Tower had been reduced to the base, but was an impressive tower, long held by the Elphinstone family, in the village of Elphinstone, near Tranent, in East Lothian in southeast Scotland. Elphinstone Tower: plans and section (MacGibbon and Ross)
Photo of hall, Elphinstone Tower had been reduced to the base, but was an impressive tower, long held by the Elphinstone family, in the village of Elphinstone, near Tranent, in East Lothian in southeast Scotland. Elphinstone Tower: hall, since demolished (Hannah, 1913)

‘Elphinstoun’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of Lothian and Linlithgow, and is shown in an enclosed and wooded park. ‘Elphinston’ is depicted on Adair’s map of East Lothian.
  The property belonged to the Setons at one time, but the Elphinstones held the lands from the 13th century. Sir Alexander Elphinstone was killed in 1435 in a raid on Piperden in Northumberland, and the property passed through his heiress by marriage to the Johnstones soon afterwards.

Elphinstone Tower had been reduced to the base, but was an impressive tower, long held by the Elphinstone family, in the village of Elphinstone, near Tranent, in East Lothian in southeast Scotland. Elphinstone Tower: before demolition (MacGibbon and Ross)

In 1545 the Protestant martyr, George Wishart, was brought here from nearby Ormiston, and at Elphinstone was handed over to Cardinal David Beaton, who took Wishart back to St Andrews for trial and execution by burning in 1546. In 1633 Alexander Elphinstone, Master of Elphinstone, had a ratification for the property, then in 1681 John Elphinstone, Lord Elphinstone, had a ratification in his favour which mentions the lands and barony of Elphinstone, with the castle, tower, fortalice, manor place, etc. The family moved to nearby Carberry Tower.

Window in hall, Elphinstone Tower had been reduced to the base, but was an impressive tower, long held by the Elphinstone family, in the village of Elphinstone, near Tranent, in East Lothian in southeast Scotland. Elphinstone Tower: hall window (MacGibbon and Ross)

An adjoining mansion of 1600 was demolished in 1865, as was much of the tower in 1955 due to subsidence from coal workings. More has been lost since, and now only a few feet of walls remain.
  One story is that there was an underground passage linking the tower to Falside Castle.

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