Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Torwoodlee Tower (Selkirk) - Past and Present

In an article on our website, posted in May 2015, we noted the welcome steps to preserve Torwoodlee Tower. The present building dates from 1601 after its predecessor had been destroyed in the lawlessness of the times. Click HERE to read it.

Torwoodlee 1904

Torwoodlee's east frontage as in 1904

Torwoodlee today

Torwoodlee today showing just how much has tumbled in 100 years

By 1601 there had been a sea change. It was widely held that James VI of Scotland would succeed the ageing Elizabeth as King of England and thus unite the kingdoms.

Hard defence was no longer seen as a requirement and what the Pringles built was a commodious mansion set within a pleasance, the site being extensively terraced to accommodate orchards and gardens.

Torwoodlee was a low, vaulted two-storey range of whinstone rubble with ashlar dressings. It would have been harled as was universal practice. A scale and plat stair led to the hall with its fireplace with further ascent facilitated by a round turnpike tower corbelled to the square.

Torwoodlee turnpike

The interior of Torwoodlee's turnpike

A panel from the site (and one from the nearby Pringle tower of Buckholm) are preserved in the present mansion of Torwoodlee.

It would be good, too, if Buckholm could share in Torwoodlee's good fortune.

Just how rapidly ruin can overtake a tower can be seen in the photographs shown here.

Click HERE to read more about the conservation plans for Torwoodlee.

Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle.

Added: 02 Jul 2015 Updated: 23 Jul 2015
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