Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

'Doune and gloom' for Gartincaber Tower

Gartincaber Tower was built in 1799 to mark the centre of Scotland. Gartincaber was never a functional building but a folly and included here as a warning regarding the fate of buildings when ‘nothing is done’.

It was a two-storey gothic octagon with an iron spiral staircase winding around the outside to a viewing platform where visitors could imagine themselves in the exact centre of Scotland.

During the war it was used a lookout post and later as a trig point. Part of the walls subsequently collapsed – something had to be done.

Gartincaber Tower, near Doune

In 2005 the Lewis Stewart Memorial Trust undertook to finance the restoration but were tied up with red tape. In January 2012 the tower toppled in a fierce gale leaving nothing but rubble. You can read the trust's report on Gartincaber Tower by clicking here .

For Gartincaber substitute any number of Scottish tower houses which have fallen during protracted negotiations. Nature does not wait and Gartincaber‘s fate should serve as a warning to those delaying decisions about preserving Scotland's past.

Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle.

Added: 30 Jun 2016 Updated: 28 Mar 2018
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