Castles and Palaces
Every Castle

Smailholm Tower

Smailholm Tower History

Smailholm Tower is an impressive structure famed in Border ballad and associated with Sir Walter Scott, who spent some of his childhood recuperating at Sandyknowe Farm in 1773.

A sturdy rectangular tower, built of rubble with sandstone dressings, it perches on a rock outcrop. The rock had a barmkin wall around it, and ruins of lesser buildings exist within this – old kitchens and halls. The gateway is at the west end, with its dressed stones long since robbed.

The Smailholm Tower, however, is virtually complete, apart from its roof slabs, though the supporting vault survives.

The tower contains dressed models by Anne Carrick depicting Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders, tapestries and paintings.

Smailholm was built by the Pringles around the middle of the 15th century but passed into Scott hands in 1645. A few years after 1700 it was abandoned in favour of Sandyknowe. The English often raided the castle in the 1540s.

Smailholm tower is located about 8 km from Kelso, in the Scottish Borders and it is open for visits as it is in the care of Historic Scotland.

Smailholm Tower Map&Location

Address: Smailholm Tower Sandyknowe Farm, Kelso TD5 7PG, United Kingdom. Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:

View Smailholm Tower in a larger map

 Smailholm Tower Photos

Photos source:
Click on the images to enlarge
The Smailholm Tower
The Smailholm Tower after restoration works
A new roof covering on Smailholm Tower
Remedial works at Smailholm Tower
The triangulation pillar on Lady Hill
Photos source: