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Barjarg Tower Dumfriesshire

AN L-shaped tower, dating probably from the end of the i6th century, which now forms the East wing of a large modern mansion situated some four miles S.E. of Pen-pont, Dumfriesshire. It is built of the local warm red rubble, with walls 4 to 5 feet in thick¬ness, and rises to four storeys and an attic in height. This house is most unusual in having, above fourth-floor level, both corbelled-out angle-turrets and a parapet, but as the stone¬work of the parapet is comparatively modern it may be that this is a later addition, and that. formerly the tower was provided only with the. usual steep roofs and angle-turrets, as at Isle, Fourmerkland, and other contemporary towers.

The entrance is in the West or shorter wing of the L, and is still provided with the old iron vett. The around floor is vaulted. The original stair has risen to the left of the doorway, at the re-entrant angle, but it is now superseded by a later-built circular stair-tower, projecting to the South.

The interior has been greatly modernized to link up with the present mansion. The angle-turrets contain little chambers entered from attic-floor level. The West wing of the modern house has been built in imitation of the old tower, and a very good copy it is. Built into the wall of this wing is a panel with the date i68o and the initials I.G. and G.K., for John Grierson and Grizel Kirkpatrick. This panel must have come from the original tower.

Barjarg appears to have been gifted by the Earl of Morton to Thomas Grierson in 1587.

Source: The Fortalices and Early Mansions of Southern Scotland 1400 to 1650. Tranter, Nigel. Published by The Moray Press, Edinburgh & London (1935)

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