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Bonshaw Tower, Annandale, Dumfriesshire

A 16TH-CENTURY tower, standing on the west bank of the Kirtle Water, about one mile south of Kirtlebridge in the parish of Annan, Dumfries¬shire. The plan is oblong, measuring 361 by 27 feet. The tower rises to three storeys, and an attic within the parapet, and has a basement-course, as at Stapleton, Comlongan, etc. Each wall is provided with a long flat gun-loop, just above base-course level. The door is in the East wall, within a modern porch, and over it is carved the legend: “SOLI DEO HONOR ET~ GLORIA.”

From the door, a mural passage leads into the vaulted basement, while the turnpike stair rises to the right. The ground-floor chamber space is slightly encroached on by the inward projection of the stair in the N.E. angle. There is a prison within the wall at the S.W. angle, measuring 8 feet 2 inches by 4 feet 4 inches, and having a ventilation flue but no windows, and in the vaulted ceiling of the basement is a hatch to the chamber above. The Hall is on the frst floor, and is provided with four windows, that in the South wall having stone seats.

There are aumbries in the jambs of the East and West windows, and a ~replace 9 feet wide in the South wall, and another aumbry with an ogival¬arched head in the East wall. The second-floor chamber has a garderobe in the N.W. angle, and otherwise is similar to the floor below. The garret in the roof is modern, as the roof has been altered to a lower pitch. The corbelling of the parapet is machicolated over each gun-loop. Bonshaw

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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