L-plan tower
16th century


NT 516397
3.3 m NE of Galashiels
N of A7






Langshaw Tower

the corner of the square tower at Langshaw

16th century tower

You can't take a turn in the Borders without running into a castle somewhere. This one gravces a farmyard just off the road near Galashiels, and we drove past on our way to Greenower Tower. We hopped the fence and walked thorugh the field to get some pictures, but when he hit the barbed wire, we didn't go further. It's early, we get more adventurous as we go one, I promise!

The little stub of the tower dates from the 16th century, wile the gable-end dates from the 17th century. The original tower was L-plan, and three stories high, with the later wings measuring over 12m long. The larger part of the ruin is the remains of a 7m extension. This piece had only one room over a kitchen--it's easy to see the enormous chimney end on the east wall.

This was a habitable building until the 18th century - it was even used as a schoolhouse for awhile before being abandoned. There are two other towers nearby (that we did not go to see--Colmslie and Hillslap.

the tower and extensions, not even connected any more!

The land here once belonged to Melrose Abbey, which lies only a few miles to the south -- and it gives you a good idea of how vast the holdings were for the abbey. You can't even see the town from here.

The castle is associated with the Borthwicks and with the Murrays.. It was sold to Gideon Murray in 1606, but it was held by the Earl of Haddington between 1609 anad 1617 before returning to the Murrays, who promptly sold it to Elizabeth Dundas, who was to be the Patrick Murray's (the heir), second wife. Salter just notes that she was "the prospective second wife", although he doesn't actually note if they married.