Places of Interest 2019-03-01T08:52:39+00:00

Hallbar Tower, Carluke

The Tower was originally a Douglas stronghold probably built around 1581. In 1681 it was acquired by Sir George Lockhart. It would have been built in response to an Act of Parliament of 1535 directing those with land to the value of £100 to construct a tower, thirty feet square, to protect himself and the local population from Border raiders.

In 1837 the building had become semi-ruinous and in 1861 it was restored by Sir Norman Macdonald Lockhart under the supervision of Dr. D.R. Rankin of Carluke.

The tower is currently available to rent from the Large Holiday House website. Major refurbishments and improvements have been carried out at the tower and the bothy in recent months and we hope that you can come and visit this wonderful location and be part of a piece of history.

Further details here

Dryburgh Abbey, Melrose

One of the four famous Border abbeys, founded in the reign of David 1 by Hugh de Morville, Constable of Scotland. Though little save the transepts has been spared of the church itself, the cloister buildings have survived in a more complete state than in any other Scottish monastery, except Iona and Inchcolm. Much of the existing remains are 12th/13th century. Sir Walter Scott is buried in the church.

Abbotsford, near Melrose, Roxburghshire

Home of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) from 1812 until his death in 1832. In 1822 the old house was demolished, and replaced with the main block of Abbotsford as it is today. His collection of historic relics includes armour and weapons, Rob Roy’s gun, Montrose’s sword and Prince Charlie’s quaich.

Scott’s daughter married John Gibson Lockhart, author of the “Life of Scott”, one of the Lockharts of Milton Lockhart and distantly related to the Lee branch of the family.

Lee Castle, Lanarkshire

William Loccard originally built a castle on the present site in 1272. In 1817 Sir Charles Macdonald Lockhart redesigned the castle using the architect James Gillespie Graham (1777-1855). William Locard chose to build his house in the valley of the Brocklinn and Mashock Burn, a tiny stream which seems almost lost in the wide valley through which it runs to join the Clyde at Crossford a couple of miles away.

In front of the house stand two historic trees. One, an ancient and battered oak known as the Pease Tree. There are two explanations for the name; one that the pea crop was spread to dry in the spreading upper branches of the tree, which were easily accessible from the steep bank below which the tree grows. The other explanation is that the word pease is derived from ‘paes’ or ‘pis’, a Saxon word meaning a spout of water, referring to a small stream which runs by the tree. The other tree, a larch, is reputed to be the first of its species introduced to Scotland. Bruce is said to have granted a charter at Lee and recorded that his signature was given “under our Pease Tree at Ley”. The larch is the only survivor of a collection of these trees that Sir William Lockhart brought to Lee from Venice in the seventeen century. The Chief’s grandfather sold the castle in 1950 and it is still in private ownership today.

Glenfinnan Monument, Loch Shiel by Fort William

The monument commemorates the raising of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s standard at Glenfinnan on 19th August 1745. It was erected by Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale in 1815. The figure on the top is George Lockhart younger of Carnwath who was Prince Charles’s aide de camp. This came about by a strange mistake: in 1835 Macdonald of Glenaladale commissioned a statue to be made of the Prince to commemorate the rising of the Stuart Standard at Glenfinnan. The sculptor he chose was a native of Carluke called Greenshields. This artist naturally wished to study a likeness of his subject before starting on the work.

Hearing that there was a good picture of the Prince at Lee Castle, not far from his home he arranged to view it. When he called the Lockharts were away, and the housekeeper knew nothing about the picture. There were two portraits of young men hanging side by side, with nothing to tell which was which; the artist chose the one of Young George Lockhart and made his model from it. When his mistake was pointed out to him he is reported to have said “…Well, be as it may, I shall stand by that model, it is a thousand times more fit than the Prince in tartan Pantaloons…”

St. Mary’s Aisle, Carnwath

The Aisle is situated in Carnwath next to the Church of Scotland. The Church was first founded in the latter part of the 12th Century (about 1186). By the beginning of the 15th Century the old church was in a ruinous condition, and in the year 1424, the then Lord of the Manor, first Lord Sommerville, rebuilt the Collegiate Church with the Aisle thereof, which was dedicated to St. Mary. The present building is all that now remains of the second church. It is not known whose hands built it, but the work may have been executed by monks or more probably by those travelling masons of the Middle Ages who spent their lives building churches. The large five-light traceried window in the North Gable is one of the finest specimens of Gothic Architecture to be seen anywhere.

The arched stone roof is of a very rare design and seldom to be met with in Scotland. In the northern wall there is a door, suggesting that it has originally been an entrance to the church, while on the southern wall there has been an arched entrance into the nave of the church but this has been built up. It has been the burial place for the Sommervilles, the earls of Carnwath and the Lockharts. On the left of the entrance there is a tomb on which rests the effigies of Hugh Lord Somerville and his wife, daughter of William Maitland of Leddingtonne, who died about 1550.

It is open to the public and the key can be obtained from the Estate office, telephone number 01555 840273.

Barr Castle

Barr Castle in Galston, or Lockhart’s Tower, as it was known locally, is one of the few historic castles of Ayrshire in close proximity to a town or village.

The first of the Lockharts of Bar of whom any authentic record has been kept is one Andrew Lockhart, who had a charter of the Land of Bar, Gallartlands, Maxwodes and Newton in the barony of Walters Kyle from Robert 111, at the close of the fourteenth century. According to legend, Sir William Wallace, once sought refuge behind its walls. It is also said that his soldiers who were billeted there played haun ‘ba’ to keep fit for battle. Whilst this is probably not true, the game was played against the castle wall (at the Barr alley) from the early nineteenth century by the miners and weavers of the Irvine Valley community.

Its most famous inhabitant was probably John Lockhart of Bar, who was instrumental in bringing John Knox to Ayrshire in 1556 and protecting him from his enemies.

The castle has been restored by the Galston Masonic Fraternity who have created a small heritage museum on the top floor.

Anyone wishing to look inside Barr Castle should call Tom Murray on 01560 320798.

Carnwath Motte

Moat or mottes were a type of fortification usually of earth and timber often built by the Normans. This was probably built by William de Somerville, in the thirteenth century as a defence point. The Somervilles sold the Carnwath Estate in 1602 to the Earl of Mar.

Covington Tower

A ruined 15th century Keep of four storeys. A pit-prison survives within the walls, and there are remains of the surrounding ditches and a 16th century doocot nearby. It passed to the Lindsays in 1368 who built the Castle in 1442. The Lockharts bought it in 1679. The Tower was excavated in the 1980’s, prior to restoration work. Items found can be seen in the Biggar Museum.

Craiglockhart Castle

About 2 miles south-west of Edinburgh near Craiglockhart Hill and Napier University.

A ruined square Keep, dating from the 13th century. Probably built by the Kincaids, later passing to the Lockharts of the Lee.

Fatlips Castle, Biggar (ruin)

A ruinous 16th century tower house Fatlips Castle, on Tinto was a stronghold, although also held by the Turnbulls.

Westhall Tower, Westhall Farm, Dunsyre (ruin)

Probably built in the sixteenth century in the peel tower style. Used as a pigsty until about 1900 and later as a farm rubbish tip. There are the remains of a sixteenth century turnpike stair on the north-west wing, where the entrance is also located. The vaulted basement had originally been divided into a northern and southern chamber; evidence of this is a door rebate into the vaulted roof of the west wall. The Grahams owned it around 1477.
It then passed to the Hepburns followed by the Douglases and finally the Lockharts in about 1684 who remain the owners today.

The Biggar Museum Trust excavated the remains in the 1980’s. No significant artefacts were discovered