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Penicuik, Glencorse Barracks, Clock Tower

A Category A Listed Building in Glencorse, Midlothian

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Coordinates

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

Electoral Ward: Midlothian West

Parish: Glencorse

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Penicuik

Description

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

The clock tower likely dates from soon after 1803-1804, when Greenlaw House was given over for conversion to a prison for French prisoners of war. Alternatively, it may date from the wider development of the site as a military prison after 1813. The tower was previously encircled by a ground level timber lean-to, possibly containing stores. An equivalent, but taller, octagonal structure exists at HMP Perth, designed by Robert Reid and similarly used for prisoners of war.

Glencorse prison was complete by 1813 and cost £100,000 (Groome.) It could accommodate 6000 prisoners and a plan shows observation walkways and prison blocks radiating from a principal terrace. This form may have survived the conversion to the general military prison for Scotland in 1845, but it was demolished either by or during the conversion to the central brigade depot for southeast Scotland in 1875-1877. Greenlaw House was also demolished, though the cellars may survive in the Officers' Mess block to the southeast. Glencorse Barracks remains in use by the military.

Formerly listed as part of a group including the Keep (LB7458), the barrack block (LB44615), the chapel, terrace and stores (LB44616) and the memorial lodges, gates, gatepiers and boundary walls (LB44617).

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