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Lee Tower

A Category C Listed Building in Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6461 / 55°38'45"N

Longitude: -3.0685 / 3°4'6"W

OS Eastings: 332851

OS Northings: 639685

OS Grid: NT328396

Mapcode National: GBR 7304.HW

Mapcode Global: WH6V6.VC00

Entry Name: Lee Tower

Listing Date: 22 July 1985

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 340424

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB8320

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Innerleithen

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Innerleithen

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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Description

16th century. Remains of indeterminable height, rectangular-plan tower house on vaulted basement. Whinstone rubble, formerly with some dressed sandstone dressings.

NE (FORMER PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: former gable-end, partially demolished (standing to 1?-storeys in places) and obscured by later farm building; slit window to 1st floor right.

SE ELEVATION: 1?-storey rubble wall obscured by much later lean-to farm building.

SW ELEVATION: former gabled end (now missing) with remnants of wall following line of basement.

NW ELEVATION: partially demolished to 1st floor level and obscured by later farm building

Original roofing and glazing plan now lost.

INTERIOR: shell of stone walls with remains of barrel vaulted basement still in evidence (collapsed rubble in situ); former entrance door in NE wall formerly leading into later single storey byres adjacent; aumbry in upper level of NE wall with slit window to upper left; various stone jambs protruding from walls.

Statement of Interest

This tower is on the west side of the Leithen Water and 1? miles north of Innerleithen, it stands immediately to the west of the Ley Farm. The tower house has been for ruined for centuries and the 1st Edition OS map shows farm buildings adjacent to it then. This farm was originally called 'Lee', but a new building was built in the earlier 19th century (to the NE of this farm) and was named 'Lee Farm House'. Now, this site with the farm steading and the tower is once again called 'Lee' and the newer farmhouse (now added to) grandly called 'The Ley' or 'Ley Mansion House'. The tower stands on land known as the Leithenhopes, and when it was built belonged to Mark Ker, Commendator of Newbattle. He granted them, in 1559, to Alexander Hume, the son of John Hume of Coldinknowis. The tower measures 32 ft. by 23 ft. 9in. with the walls standing 3ft. 9in. thick. The entrance was found in the NE wall and led to the vaulted basement; a short stair (lit by slit windows) rose adjacent and led to the 1st floor, a small cell or cupboard was found under here. The 1st floor is assumed to have been the hall with the fireplace in the now missing SW wall. There is still an aumbry in the NE wall and evidence of unusual slits in the hall level. Lee reverted back to the Ker family at the end of the century when it was incorporated into the Barony of Preston Grange. Tenants mostly occupied Lee Tower after this date. The last known "occupants" of the tower were Janet, the eldest daughter of William Grant, Lord Prestongrange, and her husband John Carmichael, who became the fourth Lord of Hyndford; the date being around the mid to late 18th century, although consensus is the building was already uninhabitable then. After this time the tower became ruinous and incorporated into a farm steading. The farm then took over the name of Lee, with the tower remaining as part of the outbuildings. Remains of a vaulted basement can still be seen today, although most of the height has been reduced to remain in keeping with the single storey byres it adjoins. Although ruinous, listed due to its importance as an example of a small Borders fortalice.

Scheduled Monument 8 September 2003 - SAM 10861.

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