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Smailholm Scotland

Near Kelso Scotland UK
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Information on the village of Smailholm, near Kelso in Scotland.

Smailholm Tower

Smailholm Tower

Standing on the high point of a hill, between Kelso and St Boswells, Smailholm Tower is visible for miles around. The property has had many owners in the past, including Pringles of Smailholm and, later, the Scotts of Harden. Early records show it to be in the hands of the Pringles in 1408. In 1513, the then laird, David Pringle and his four sons all perished at the Battle of Flodden. Thereafter, it was attacked regularly by the marauding English armies. The Scott of Harden family took it over about 1645, but by 1700 they had moved into Sandyknowe at the tower's base, and the building became derelict. It came into the hands of the nation and, in the 1980's was stabilised and partly restored. It is now under the care of Historic Scotland. Open all the year round, it contains a superb exhibition of figure models from Scottish history and literature by Anne Carrick.

Sandyknowe was the home of Sir Walter Scott's grandfather, so as a boy he visited it often. He described it as 'standing stark and upright like a warden', which is just what it was meant to do as one of the line of towers defending the Tweed Valley.

NT 635347

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