History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Penicuik, Glencorse Barracks, Clock Tower

A Category A Listed Building in Glencorse, Midlothian

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street View
Contributor Photos »

Street View is the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the building. In some locations, Street View may not give a view of the actual building, or may not be available at all. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 55.8453 / 55°50'42"N

Longitude: -3.2033 / 3°12'12"W

OS Eastings: 324748

OS Northings: 661993

OS Grid: NT247619

Mapcode National: GBR 602V.8G

Mapcode Global: WH6T5.RBSS

Entry Name: Penicuik, Glencorse Barracks, Clock Tower

Listing Date: 22 January 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 391225

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB44614

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Glencorse

County: Midlothian

Parish: Glencorse

Locality: Midlothian West

Traditional County: Midlothian


Circa 1810. 4-stage octagonal clock tower containing prison cells/ guard rooms. Squared and coursed, stugged sandstone, base course, raised cills, cill band to 4th stage.

Originally with 4 doors on alternate faces, 1 now blocked as window, 2 others brick-blocked internally. Rectangular, tablet-like windows now blocked with stone or brick, with small ventilation louvres, to each stage of alternate flanks and above each stage where doors at ground, those to 4th stage under the eaves with remnants of former bars. Clock (now modern) fill oculi on 4 of the faces where door/ former door at ground.

Polygonal roof (almost conical), flattened at apex with flagpole, overhanging eaves with exposed rafters.

INTERIOR: stone spiral staircase to centre with cells radiating off. Timber floors. Boarded doors. Water tank now suitably housed.

Statement of Interest

Formerly listed under the name 'The Keep' (a separate building now also listed separately). The clock tower prison presumably dates from soon after 1803-4 when Greenlaw House was given over for conversion to a prison for French prisoners of war, or possibly from the wider development as a military prison after 1813. An equivalent octagonal structure, but taller, exists at Perth Prison, similarly for Prisoners of War, designed by Robert Reid. The Glencorse tower was previously encircled by a timber-lean-to at ground, possibly containing stores. The prison was complete by 1813, accommodating 6000 prisoners, the work costing ?100,000 (Groome). A plan showing observation walkways / prison blocks radiating from a principal terrace indicated the form of the provision which possibly survived the conversion to the general military prison for Scotland, from 1845, but not the alterations and extensions from 1875-77 to serve the central brigade depot for southeast Scotland. It now houses the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) and has been subject to further demolitions since the end of National Service. Nothing remains of Greenlaw House, though the cellars of the Officers' Mess block to the SE may conceivably owe their existence to this 17th century mansion. The tower is part of an A Group with the keep, lodges, gates and boundary walls, the barrack block, the chapel, terrace and stores.

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.