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 ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available!
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available! 

Greenknowe Tower

Borders: About 0.5 miles west of Gordon, just north of lay-by on A6105, at Greenknowe Tower.

 

HES   NT 639428   OS: 74   TD3 6JL

 

OPEN: Access at all reasonable times.
Web: www.historicenvironment.scot

Greenknowe Tower, a ruinous but an attractive old tower house, held by the Setons and then the Pringles, located in a pretty spot with old trees near the village of Gordon in the Borders. Greenknowe Tower (© Martin Coventry)
Greenknowe Tower, a ruinous but an attractive old tower house, held by the Setons and then the Pringles, located in a pretty spot with old trees near the village of Gordon in the Borders. Greenknowe Tower (© Martin Coventry)

Built for comfort as well as for defence, Greenknowe (or West Gordon) Tower is a 16th-century L-plan tower house, although it incorporates older work. It consists of a main block of four storeys and a higher wing. Three of the corners had bartizans, and the walls are pierced by gunloops. The castle is dated 1581, and there are the mongrams of James Seton and Jane Edmonstone over the entrance.

Greenknowe Tower, a ruinous but an attractive old tower house, held by the Setons and then the Pringles, located in a pretty spot with old trees near the village of Gordon in the Borders. Greenknowe Tower (old postcard)

The entrance, in the re-entrant angle, still has an iron yett. It leads to the main turnpike stair to the hall above, and into the vaulted basement which contains the kitchen with an arched fireplace. The hall has a wide decorated fireplace. The private chambers on the floors above of both the wing and main block were reached by a turnpike stair in the re-entrant angle.

Greenknowe Tower, a ruinous but an attractive old tower house, held by the Setons and then the Pringles, located in a pretty spot with old trees near the village of Gordon in the Borders. Greenknowe Tower (© Martin Coventry)

‘W. Gordounn’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of The Merse.

Greenknowe Tower, a ruinous but an attractive old tower house, held by the Setons and then the Pringles, located in a pretty spot with old trees near the village of Gordon in the Borders. Greenknowe Tower (MacGibbon and Ross)

Greenknowe passed by marriage from the Gordons to the Setons of Touch, who built the castle or rebuilt an earlier stronghold. In the 17th century the property was acquired by the Pringles of Stichill, and in 1649 Robert Pringle of Stichill had a ratification which mentions the tower, fortalice and manor place called Greenknow. One of the family was Walter Pringle, a noted writer and Covenanter.

Greenknowe Tower, a ruinous but an attractive old tower house, held by the Setons and then the Pringles, located in a pretty spot with old trees near the village of Gordon in the Borders. Greenknowe Tower (© Martin Coventry)

Greenknowe later passed to the Dalrymples, who occupied the tower until the middle of the 19th century, and there are some impressive old trees around the building. The tower was put into the care of the State in 1937.

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