Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Hollows Tower - Dumfriesshire

Hollows Tower
Hollows Tower

Situated on a strong site Hollows, or Gilnockie's Tower, is a rectangular 16th century tower house of four storeys and a garret within a corbelled-out parapet. There was probably a courtyard.

The entrance leads to a turnpike stair which climbs to the upper floors. The basement is vaulted, and the hall on the first floor, has a wide moulded fireplace.

Hollows was a stronghold of the unruly Armstrong clan after nearby Gilnockhall or Gilnockie Castle had been destroyed by the English in 1523. Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie was hanged without trial by James V in 1530, with 50 of his family, as recorded in the old ballad. A stone memorial marks the mass grave at Carlanrig.

The tower has been reroofed and restored, and now houses the clan Armstrong Centre, although the Armstrongs were never a clan.

There may have been another tower to the south, known as "Priore Johns".

Wording taken from The Castles of Scotland Third Edition by Martin Coventry

Added: 18 Apr 2010 Updated: 21 May 2019
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