Northbank Tower

Point/Elder name :

Grid Reference :

1545 :

Remains :

Access :

Archaeology? :

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Northbank Tower

This is a small pele house intact to first floor level, which has much in common with the others on the upper Jed. The plan is rectangular measuring 7.06m on the SW gable and 8.44 on the SE wall. Approx. thickness is 1.3 to 1.4 m. The NW wall is below first floor height; the SE wall still is high enough to show a narrow scarcement to carry the first floor. A corbel stone protrudes on the inside of the SW wall to carry the first floor main beam. The mortar was probably clay, which has mostly washed out. The build quality is not as good as at Slacks and Kilnsike, and there has been a lot of settlement and distortion. To the NW is a banked enclosure, and there are signs of other possible platforms for buildings to the north. 40 metres to the SW, against a rocky outcrop on the hill above the tower are what appear to be worked faces of a small quarry, presumably the source of the stone. The Inventory gives a good description and notes the entrance has been rebuilt, possibly reflecting later use as a sheep fold or lambing shelter. In 1694 a George Olipher and Culbert Whilands paid for one hearth at Northbank. In the same roll a Robert Oliver, Bank, is liable for one hearth, and later Robert Laidlaw for one hearth. The earlier name is believed to have been ‘The Banks’.