Goldielands Tower

The lands on which stand Goldielands Tower came into the possession of the Scotts of Buccleuch in 1446, as part of the same trade with the Inglises (for lands in Lanarkshire) which secured them Branxholme. Situated on a hill overlooking the confluence of the Borthwick Water and River Teviot, this 16th century pele tower was constructed as a defensive watch-tower for Branxholme Castle – one can imagine the beacons of Goldielands Tower ablaze of a night, sending message of warning to the garrison at Branxholme.

A picture of Goldielands in Grose’s Antiquities of Scotland (c.1790) shows two corner towers, surrounded by the wall of a barmkin. These towers may once have been known as ‘Speed o’ fit’ and ‘Tranty fit’, the supposed names of two witches local to the area. Now, only the ruins of one tower remain, though they are fairly-well preserved, and a mound nearby may indicate where second tower stood. Goldielands Tower is approximately 7m by 10m, and stood five stories tall, formerly with a parapet walkway. In layout and construction, it is similar to Burnhead Tower, and it was used as the model for Westburnflat Tower in Sir Walter Scott’s The Black Dwarf.

Goldielands’ most famous resident was its first Laird, Walter Scott ‘the Laird’s Wat’, who took part in the Raid of the Redeswire in 1575 – the last major battle between English and Scottish forces, resulting in a Scottish victory by Redeswire hill on the Carter Bar. His son, also Walter Scott, was probably part of Kinmont Willie’s rescue party in the raid on Carlisle Castle in 1596. This same Laird was order to destroy Dryhope Tower in 1592 by Royal order.