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Description: Bonshaw Tower and House and Courtyard Walls
Date Listed: 3 August 1971
Historic Scotland Building ID: 3489
OS Grid Coordinates: 324256, 572068
Latitude/Longitude: 55.0373, -3.1867
Rectangular-plan tower house, probably mid 16th century, with
1770 2-storey country house to NE, latter with classical
details and with various additions including 1841-2
alterations and additions by Peter Smith, mason and James
Scott, joiner, re-using material of the "old mansion house of
Bonshaw"; tower linked to house 1896 by low corridor. All
rubble-built with ashlar dressings; slated roofs. All
arranged around forecourt at head of steep cliff to E and to
Tower: 4 storeys, horizontal gun loops to elevations above
splayed base course, openings above mostly roll-moulded
bipartites or slits: corbelled plain parapet with
machicolations; crow-stepped gables (crow steps set forward
at NE over internal wheel stair) with end stack at S;
roof-pitch lowered, N-facing former attic light in gable apex
now serves as an open belfry. Corridor encloses tower outer
door and yett: roll-moulded doorway with cornice and panel
Interior: monogramed pendant boss within doorway; ground
floor vaulted, with prison cell and stone girnal, wheel stair
within NE angle; wide roll-moulded fireplace at principal
(1st) floor, stone window seats and aumbries; fireplace in
2nd floor, and garderobe.
House: precise development not clear; earliest part seemingly
a 1770 2-storey, 3-bay hose with Doric-columned and
pedimented porch and piended roof; E flank single bay; long
3-bay W elevation altered - possibly 1841-2 (though perhaps
earlier) - with full-height bow added to right, left bay
raised to full height. Continuous eaves band and cornice:
corniced stacks. Tall lean-to fills re-entrant angle;
crow-stepped service wing to N.
Link: roll-moulded slit openings and forecourt door; re-used bolection-moulded doorway incorporated in W wall; concealed
roof. Masked cavetto skewputt incorporated in interior wall.
Courtyard: crenellated low wall over steep slope largely
rebuilt 1895 (dated); some 17th-early 18th century stones
incorporated including roll-moulded jambs and broken
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.References:
S.R.O. SC 15-65
TRANSACTIONS OF THE DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY NAT. HIST. AND
Listed category A for quality of tower.
Tower and later works for Irvings of Bonshaw.
Source: Historic Scotland
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.