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Liberton Drive, Liberton Tower

A Category A Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9146 / 55°54'52"N

Longitude: -3.1774 / 3°10'38"W

OS Eastings: 326504

OS Northings: 669680

OS Grid: NT265696

Mapcode National: GBR 8RW.W8

Mapcode Global: WH6ST.5L6N

Entry Name: Liberton Drive, Liberton Tower

Listing Date: 14 July 1966

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 365439

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB28021

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Liberton/Gilmerton

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Circa 1500. Late-medieval tower house. Rectangular plan, 4-storey, coursed rubble with dressed quoins and openings, arrow slits and gun-loops. Barrel- vaulted basement, upper storey pointed tunnel vault, original access by round-arched door to 1st floor to E. Timber floors which formed 2 storeys between vaults now missing. Low parapet, rubble gablehead stacks to E and W, parapet walk with drainage channels and stone flagged roof.

BASEMENT: door to S, enlarged as interrupts corbels for joists. Arrow slit openings to N, S and E. No access to upper floors.

ENTRESOL: probably used as store. Accessible from 1st floor via narrow mural stair in NW angle. Hatch in vault probably later. Slit openings to each elevation.

FIRST FLOOR: principal floor with round-arched doorway to E, windows to N and S. Plain fireplace in S wall, staircases in NW (down) and SW (up) angles, garderobe on NE angle with soil flue, lamp recess and 2 small windows. Aumbry with depressed ogee head in NE (damaged by later door). Spyhole to straight stair in E wall rising to 2nd floor.

SECOND FLOOR (ENTRESOL): originally divided into 2 chambers with timber partition N-S. Fireplace in W and E wall. Opening to E gable, garderobe in NE angle. Parapet walk accessed by ladder.

Statement of Interest

Now in residential use. Descheduled (2008). Tower and interior are well illustrated in MacGibbon and Ross. The Inventory refers to a charter which granted the lands of Upper or Over Liberton to Alexander de Dalmahoy in 1475-6. The tower, sited on ridge to S of city, is remarkably complete; Gifford, McWilliam & Walker date the building c.1500 by the aumbry with depressed ogee head. Masonry and parapet walk resemble Craigmillar Castle (to NE). The Inventory suggests that the very low parapet may have been raised with timber merlons.

Illustration in MacGibbon & Ross shows joists of entresol floors in place. The two neighbouring former farmhouses are listed separately. An early cross shaft, found built into a wall adjoining the tower, with interlace and key pattern ornament was removed and presented to the National Museum of Antiquities in 1863 (See Inventory Item No: 168).

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