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Whytbank Tower

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Record Detail

  • Organisation
    RCAHMS
  • Alternative name(s)
    WHYTEBANK TOWER
  • Canmore ID
    54409
  • Site type
    TOWER
  • Parish
    CADDONFOOT
  • Council
    SELKIRKSHIRE
  • NGR
    NT 44186 37668
  • Latitude, longitude
    55.629363N, 2.888W
  • Archeological notes
    NT43NW 3 44186 37668 NT43NW 3.01 4415 3758 Buildings; Enclosure (NT 4418 3767) Whytbank Tower (NR) (Remains of) OS 6" map (1957) NMRS REFERENCE Whytebank Tower stands at 850ft OD on the E slope of Knowes Hill; it is one of the four towers in the district characterised by their association with terraced enclosures. Built in the 16th century, it is now very dilapidated. Above the ground floor little survives except a 'tooth' of masonry at the W corner, which still stands 40ft high and bears the remains of a cap-house. Four storeys in height when entire, the building is oblong on plan, measuring 37 1/2 ft by 25ft, excluding a massive buttress which has been added to the SE end of the NE gable. The masonry is whin rubble. The courtyard, entered from the N and communicating with a level enclosure on the SE, measures 85ft by 60ft. The oblong building on its E side measures 90ft by 23ft. Now reduced to a ruinous ground floor, it contains four apartments, one vaulted. The ruinous oblong building at the SW corner of the courtyard was single-storeyed. It measures 38ft by 21 1/2 ft and appears to have been partly rebuilt. Another structure, which has almost entirely disappeared, lay between this and the building on the E side of the courtyard. The tower is approached from the S by an old road which runs along a terrace parallel to the contour and flanked on the E by a second, lower terrace. The upper terrace and the hillside above it are both revetted with drystone walling and the lower terrace may have been similarly revetted, although where the bank on the lower side is breached the construction seems to be heaped earth rather than building. These terraces extend for at least 300 yds until, on the N, they meet the enclosures surrounding the tower. Here the rocky hillside on the W of the approach has been extensively quarried and against the rock faces may be seen the remains of crudely built huts, all much later then the tower. The terrace carrying the road dies out on the W side of the tower. The lower terrace broadens as it nears the site to accommodate the tower and its outbuildings. On the E of the courtyard there are four more terraces, alternately broad and narrow, all of which show ruinous retaining walls of stone laid in clay in the revetment of one terrace there are two small recesses, probably for beehives. On the S of the courtyard there is a level enclosure situated at the N end of the lower terrace mentioned above; on its E side a long, narrow, sloping enclosure, probably an orchard, abuts on the S end of the four terraces E of the courtyard. RCAHMS 1957, visited 1934 One unroofed building annotated Whytbank (Ruins of) and a series of conjoined enclosures are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Selkirkshire 1863, sheet iii). Three unroofed buildings and a series of enclosures are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1982). Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 12 September 2000 EXTERNAL REFERENCES RCAHMS confirmed. Unable to confirm correct spelling of 'Whytbank'. Earthworks surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (WDJ) 6 January 1966 The owner of the properties concerned prefers the name without the 'e' in accordance with local spelling, and would preserve conformity as on title deeds and all estate correspondence. (Information from JM 1967) The remains of Whytbank Tower with its associated buildings and terraces are covered by dense vegetation but they are generally as described by the RCAHM. Published survey (25") correct. Visited by OS (MJF) 29 November 1979. A detailed survey was carried out by Scotia Archaeology Limited of the tower, its courtyard and associated buildings; a terraced garden; and several outlying structures, perhaps associated with the occupation of the tower during the 18th and 19th centuries. The area surveyed measured approximately 170m by 170m. Sponsor: The Mitchell Trust. Lewis and Terry 1994
  • Architectural notes
    N/A

Related material information

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • 54409 (1979)
    View of collapsed interior structure.
  • 54409 (1979)
    View of ruined external wall structure from NW.
  • 54409 ()
    Photographic copy of drawing showing plan shaded to show periods of construction.
  • 54409 ()
    View of ruined external wall structure from NW.
  • 54409 (1886)
    View of Whytbank Tower. Titled: 'Whytbank Tower'; 'Drawn by J.A. Pringle, Esqr 1828'.
  • 54409 ()
    View of ruined external wall struture from W.
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 11 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 10 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 9 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 8 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 7 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 6 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 5 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 4 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 3 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 2 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 Slide 1 - Tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 1 frame showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (4/1994)
    Whytbank Tower Topographic Survey April 1994 2 frames showing tower and surrounding area
  • 54409 (1992)
    Oblique aerial view centred on tower from E.
  • 54409 (1992)
    Oblique aerial view centred on tower from ENE.

DIGITAL IMAGES

  • 1300327 (25/6/2012)
    Oblique aerial view of Whytbank Tower, taken from the E.
  • 1300326 (25/6/2012)
    Oblique aerial view of Whytbank Tower, taken from the ESE.
  • 1300325 (25/6/2012)
    Oblique aerial view of Whytbank Tower, taken from the SSE.
  • 1300324 (25/6/2012)
    Oblique aerial view of Whytbank Tower, taken from the SSW.
  • 1300323 (25/6/2012)
    Oblique aerial view of Whytbank Tower, taken from the W.
  • 1300322 (25/6/2012)
    Oblique aerial view of Whytbank Tower, taken from the NW.
  • 1345125 (29/5/1933)
    Plane table survey of Whytbank Tower.
  • 1160924 (1934)
    Publication plan shaded to show periods of construction of Whytbank Tower.

SCANNED IMAGES

  • 1161238 (1886)
    View of Whytbank Tower. Titled: 'Whytbank Tower'; 'Drawn by J.A. Pringle, Esqr 1828'.

PRINTS AND DRAWINGS

  • 54409 (29/5/1933)
    Plane table survey of Whytbank Tower.
  • 54409 (1934)
    Publication plan shaded to show periods of construction of Whytbank Tower.

1st edition 6-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Selkirkshire, Sheet III1858
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Roxburghshire, Sheet III1859

1st edition 25-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Selkirk, Sheet 003.161858
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Selkirk, Sheet 003.161858
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Roxburgh, Sheet 003.091859