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Abbot's Tower
Near New Abbey, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
UK
Abbot's Tower.JPG
Abbot's Tower in 2008
Coordinates 54°59′02″N 3°36′21″W / 54.98376°N 3.605837°W / 54.98376; -3.605837
Type Tower house
Site information
Owner Private
Open to
the public
No
Condition Restored
Site history
Built Around 1580
In use until c.1627; reoccupied in 1990s
Materials Stone

Abbot's Tower is a late-16th-century tower house situated near New Abbey, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, that was built by the Abbot of Sweetheart Abbey. The building was restored in the early 1990s and is now used as a private residence and as a bed and breakfast. This structure should not be confused with the Abbot's Tower of Alnwick Castle.

History

The tower was built in the late 16th century as a refuge by Gilbert Broun, S.O.Cist., the last Abbot of the Cistercian Sweetheart Abbey. Despite the abbey's suppression during the Scottish Reformation, Broun continued to uphold the Roman Catholic faith until he was arrested in 1605 and ultimately exiled.

Structure

Abbot's Tower is a L-plan tower house, originally measuring 28.75 by 23.6 feet (8.8 by 7.2 m) with a short staircase wing extending north 8.5 feet (2.6 m). Its rubbled walls were about 4 feet (1.2 m) thick with only one room per storey. Each has a fireplace at one end and there was a garderobe in the south corner. By 1892, it was in a ruinous state, with the portions of the walls still surviving to a height of 32 feet (9.8 m). The west and staircase walls were almost complete, but portions of the other walls had fallen and the hewn stones taken.

Archaeological investigations in the early 1990s revealed remnants of outbuildings and portions of what were probably foundations of the barmkin walls. The tower was restored and converted into a private residence in the 1990s. As of 2020, the owners operate the tower as a bed and breakfast.

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