Preston Tower is a 14th-century Pele Tower and was built in 1392, when warfare between England and Scotland was endemic.

At the time of Agincourt in 1415, it was one of 78 Pele Towers in the county. Its owners included Sir Guiscard Harbottle, who was slain fighting against James IV at the battle of Flodden in 1513, which brought Mary, Queen of Scots to the Scottish throne. *

Following the act of union in 1707 half of the Tower was pulled down with the stone being used for farm buildings on the estate. The tower has exhibitions within some of it’s rooms. The ground floor features a guardroom and a prison. The first floor has a living room and a bedroom furnished as they might have been around 1400. The second floor houses an exhibition on the battle of Flodden and some extracts from Border history and Border ballads. On this floor you can also see the workings of the magnificent clock. This was installed in the centre of the Tower in 1864. The mechanism is similar to that used for Big Ben and on the hour it strikes a  bell which weighs around 1100lbs.

The top of the Tower is 200ft above sea level and there are magnificent views from the top, just be careful not to stand next to the turret that houses the clock bell when it is sounding. I have to admit I wasn’t quite brave enough to venture fully onto the roof.

On leaving the Tower the groundsman came and had a word and amongst other things relayed some interesting facts about the Tower.  He is quite justifiably proud of the Tower.  Whilst we were talking a lady turned up with a pile of phone books, he pointed out that there was no telephone in the Tower.  She was actually a bit lost and couldn’t find many of the addresses on her list so he walked off with her to explain which houses had phones and how to find them.

The Tower

Bedroom 1400s Style

Living Room 1400s Style

*From the guidebook.

16 Comments CherryPie on Jan 26th 2010

16 Responses to “Preston Tower”

  1. mutley says:

    Fascinating place. Don’t look very homely does it?

  2. Ellee says:

    What a pity we don’t build sturdy towers like this any more.

  3. jameshigham says:

    Did you see the iron basket?

  4. MTG says:

    Seeing the old bedsit brings a nostalgic tear to the eye, CP.

  5. Definitely an ideal home if you have rowdy neighbours!

  6. Claudia says:

    I would gladly move in, if the rent is affordable!

  7. Phidelm says:

    Great location; needs work …:-). That was a very strange little anecdote about the telephone directory lady at the end; but how kind the custodian was with her.

    • CherryPie says:

      The location is lovely as it is ;-)

      It was quite sweet, we thought she was coming to sell something at first.

      The custodian was a lovely guy, we had a long chat :-)

  8. Yvonne says:

    i would have love to slept in the room with the fire! (Second pic)