Dunmore Park Tower, Airth

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Category
AT RISK
Name of Building
Dunmore Park Tower
Other Name(s)
Airth Tower; Elphinstone Tower
Address
Airth
Locality
Postcode
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
2383
Listing Category
C
OS Grid Ref
NS 89018 88922
Location Type
Rural
HS Reference No
2111

Description

Rubble-built rectangular-plan tower, once measuring 9 x 7.4m but now greatly diminished. The walls measure some 5'9" thick in most sections, and each of the 4 floors once held a single room. The doors, windows and battlements are Victorian additions, as was the conical fishscale-slated turret which has now been lost. The tower is enclosed to the south and west by the graveyard of the demolished Episcopal Church and remains one of the few estate buildings to predate the 19th century remodelling.

Originally built in 1504 by Sir John Elphinstone, it was known as the Elphinstone Tower for the next 250 years before the estate was bought by John, 4th Earl of Dunmore in 1754 and was renamed Dunmore Park. The ground floor of the tower was later converted into the family's burial vault.
Building Dates
1504; 19th century
Architects
Unknown

Category of Risk and Development History

Condition
Ruinous
Category of Risk
High
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
01/06/1996, 01/01/1998, 09/10/2008, 13/3/2015, This small building, which is situated in rough pasture on the north bank of the Burn of Tafts, may be associated with the stone-walled enclosure (HY33SE 521) that lies on the south bank some 34m to the WSW. Rectangular on plan, it measures 6.6m from ENE to WSW by 3.6m transversely over a ruinous drystone wall. A small enclosure is attached to its NNW side. The building is depicted roofless on the 1st edition of the OS 25-inch map (Orkney 1882, Sheet LXXXIV.16 (Rousay)).
Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 11 May 2015.
, What are probably the remains of a hut are marked by a grass-grown stony mound which sits on the east side of a stream gully at the foot of the NW flank of Mansemass Hill. The mound measures about 5m in diameter by 0.5m in height. A second, much smaller, mound is situated immediately to the NW.
Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 12 May 2015.

Development History
September 1980: Demolition consent is sought. A substantial section of walling at the north-west corner has collapsed. However, a feasibility study into restoration as a holiday let has also been completed. The estate was split up and sold as separate lots in 1968. 28 February 1986: Press reports note that several graves within the tower have been desecrated. The tower is now owned by Edinburgh businessman Anthony Zawadesky and has been purchased on behalf of the Castellan Society, which purchases properties for restoration and is currently seeking charitable status. However, responsibility for maintaining and securing the graves rests with the trustees of 2 Episcopalian Church memorial funds via Stuart and Stuart, Cairns Solicitors of Edinburgh and the owner does not intend to commence restoration until this has been undertaken. March 1991: SCT understands the tower is now owned by a Mr Eric Munnoch of Dunmore Village. Planning Permission exists for restoration as a holiday home. 19 September 1991: The Falkirk Herald reports that a 6-foot fence has been erected around the tower. It is reported that developers Kelvin Homes and hoteliers Tirena are interesting in restoring the tower as part of their leisure development proposals for the estate. May 1996: Permissions are sought by Dunmore Developments for alterations and extension to form a dwelling. The Victorian fishscale turret has now collapsed and the tower suffers from vandalism. SCT welcomes the application. 1997: Permissions are granted. January 1998: External inspection reveals the tower to be ruinous, with the entire northern flank now collapsed. 20 May 2004: The Falkirk Herald reports that Dunmore Developments hopes to resurrect its plans to restore the tower as a dwelling, for which permissions were granted in 1997. Original coffins have now been disinterred from the tower and moved to Blair Atholl, though the coffin lids remain. A visitor to the tower notes that it has suffered severe vandalism.
October 2008: External inspection reveals that the tower remains ruinous. The eastern half survives with the walls relatively intact though overgrown. The interior is overgrown.
13 March 2015: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously. Risk level reduced to High.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01324 504715

Availability

Current Availability
Unknown
Appointed Agents
Price
Occupancy
Vacant
Occupancy Type
N/A
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Dunmore Developments
Type of Ownership
Company

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Bibliography
Coventry (2001), p49; Dean and Miers (1990), pp26-27; Jaques (2001), p67; Tait (1980); Stirlingshire: An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments, pp229-230.
Online Resources
Classification
Castles, Palaces and Fortified Houses
Original Entry Date
19-SEP-90
Date of Last Edit
20/05/2015