Smailholm Tower History
Smailholm Tower is an impressive structure famed in
Border ballad and associated with Sir Walter Scott, who spent some of his childhood
recuperating at Sandyknowe Farm in 1773.
A sturdy rectangular tower, built of rubble with sandstone dressings, it
perches on a rock outcrop. The rock had a barmkin wall around it, and ruins of lesser buildings
exist within this – old kitchens and halls. The gateway is at the west end, with its dressed
stones long since robbed.
The Smailholm Tower, however, is
virtually complete, apart from its roof slabs, though the supporting vault survives.
The tower contains dressed models by Anne Carrick depicting Scott’s
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders, tapestries and paintings.
Smailholm was built by the Pringles around the middle of the 15th century
but passed into Scott hands in 1645. A few years after 1700 it was abandoned in favour of
Sandyknowe. The English often raided the castle in the 1540s.
Smailholm tower is located about 8 km from Kelso, in the Scottish Borders
and it is open for visits as it is in the care of Historic Scotland.
Smailholm Tower Map&Location
Address: Smailholm Tower Sandyknowe Farm,
Kelso TD5 7PG, United Kingdom. Get help with directions using the map provided
Smailholm Tower in a larger map