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Mangerton Tower Heraldic Panel, Liddesdale

Mangerton Tower, Heraldic Panel, Newcastleton, Liddesdale, Roxburghshire, Scottish Borders

The heraldic stone panel built into the wall of the rather slight remains of Mangerton Tower is one of the few artefacts that remain to remind us of the presence of the notorious Armstrongs in Liddesdale. The ancient panel is now time-worn, encrusted with lichen and quite difficult to decipher.

The panel consists of a moulded border within which is a shield bearing the arms of the Armstrong Lairds of Mangerton (a chevron between three lozenges) and a broadsword point uppermost, together with the date 1583. The initials flanking the shield are SA and either EE or EF (Elliot or Forster).
The date probably records the repair or building of the tower.

The initials SA are those of Symon or Sim Armstrong of Mangerton, Chief of the Armstrongs. He was a well known Reiver and in the 1580s is recorded as being charged with murder, kidnapping, arson and spoiling to the extent of £400. He in turn complained of the loss of 1,200 beasts plus £1,500 and himself taken prisoner. His wife is variously said to have been Elizabeth Elliot or Elizabeth Forster, the latter possibly the daughter of Robert Forster of nearby Stonegarthside.

Location: Scottish Borders, Roxburghshire, Liddesdale
OS sheet: 79 GR: 479853

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