The Tower of Rais, also known as 'Stewart's Rais', was built in the reign of James II and stood on a bank above the Levern Water. It was recorded as being 'square in form with very thick walls'. The ground floor was vaulted and it rose to a conspicuously corbelled parapet. In later years it found use as barracks.
As late as 1782 a great part of the tower was standing with its 'battlements and cornices' but in the 19th century it was adapted to house the beam engine that pumped water out the nearby colliery.
When the mine was worked out the engine house was dismantled and the walls allowed to fall into ruin. The site was robbed to provide building material for the houses of Barrhead. Enough was still standing, however, in the early part of the 20th century to attract notice until in the late 1930s the Council had it totally demolished as 'a danger to children'.
The site is now surrounded by public housing but the 'River Levern Walk', which has an interpretation panel at the site, gives easy access to the grass-covered mound which marks its location.
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View our extensive collection of castle postcards (circa 1900).