Canonbie, Dumfries & Galloway DG14 0XD
The Armstrong Clan Association is proud to support Gilnockie Tower, managed by Clan Armstrong Centre.
Gilnockie Tower dates from the 16th century. It is the ONLY habitable Armstrong tower house still in existence from the original 80 - 90 pele towers in the Eskdale & Liddesdale area. England can be seen from the top of the tower which is situated in a remarkably good defensive position.
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland has extensive archaeological notes on the tower. According to their notes:
- "The Armstrongs first appeared in the district early in the 16th century when the redoubtable Johnnie Armstrong or 'Gilnockie' settled on the church lands at Canonbie and erected this tower at the place called the Hollows."
- "It was a stronghold of the Armstrongs, and its predecessor, built in 1518, was burnt down by Lord Dacre in 1528."
The original name of the Tower was the Holehouse; the House by the Hole. The "Hole" was the quarry from which the stone for the building was extracted. This was abbreviated to Hollas by local usage, and modern maps still show the nearby hamlet as Hollows.
The tower is named as Gilnockie Tower, at Holehouse, on late 19th century maps, in 1937 in the Register of Sasines (the land registry) and in the Royal Commissions Survey of 1981 which states 'this oblong tower-house of 16th century date stands to a height of 4 storeys and a garret and bears a beacon-stance on the SSW gable. Attributed to the Armstrongs.'
The Tower can be found by taking the second right turning off the A7 at Canonbie when travelling north, signposted to Hollows. For satnavs use the postcode DG14 0XD, or use our interactive satellite/map view and simply zoom out to find other nearby Armstrong reiver sites. Association Members have access to more comprehensive maps with more details on each site, and a suggested itinerary for a self-guided Armstrong Reiver Tour.
GUIDED TOURS of the tower can be arranged by appointment:
If you wish to visit the Tower in the future follow the email link and we will keep you informed of any updates to this. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. You can, of course, do a close up visit to the exterior only at any time!
Gilnockie Tower was acquired for the Clan in 1992 and is managed by The Clan Armstrong Centre, which is a registered Charity No 104156 (Scotland) holding a Certificate of Incorporation issued in 1987.
Gilnockie Tower, Canonbie, Dumfries & Galloway DG14 0XD