The Tower of Hallbar, also known as Hallbar Tower and Braidwood
Castle, is a 16th century tower house, located to the west of the
River Clyde in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The tower is situated
above the Fiddler Burn, 3.5 km south-west of Carluke, and 1.5 km
east of Crossford. It has recently been restored and is let out as
The barony of
Braidwood was first granted to John de Monfod in 1326, by Robert
the Bruce. In 1581, the barony was transferred to Harie Stewart of
Gogar, brother of James Stewart of Bothwellhaugh, who was briefly
Earl of Arran during the insanity of the third earl, James Hamilton.
The tower was recorded at this time, making it likely that it was
built in response to James V's edict that "tours of fence" be built
on all lands over £100 Scots in value.
Braidwood, and Hallbar
with it, came into the possession of Lord Maitland of Thirlestane
Castle, later passing through the hands of the Marquess of Douglas,
before changing hands again in 1681, when it was bought by George
Lockhart of Lee Castle, whose estate adjoined Braidwood to the
By the mid 19th century the tower was in ruins, but
dereliction was prevented by Sir Norman Macdonald Lockhart Bt., the
young laird of Lee, who had the tower restored by a Dr D R Rankin of
Carluke in 1861. The upper parts of the castle, including parapet,
caphouse, gables and roof, were rebuilt at this time. The tower was
then leased, generating income for the Lockharts. One notable tenant
was the Rev. Neville Donaldson, minister of Glasgow Cathedral, who
lived here during the 1950s and 60s. The last tenant left in 1984,
and the tower once again became semi-derelict, succumbing to
Hallbar is still owned by the Lockharts of Lee,
but in 1998 a lease was agreed with the Vivat Trust, a historic
buildings preservation trust. The trust agreed to restore and
convert the Tower for use as holiday accommodation.
narrow, five storey tower is only 7.5m square, with walls up to 1.6m
thick. Each level originally had a single room, with a winding
stair, built into the thickness of the walls, wrapping around and
linking the floors. At the basement level was a low vaulted cellar
with its own access. The main door was at first floor level giving
access to a small hall. Above this are two further rooms, the second
vaulted. The stair continues to a pyramidal caphouse, giving access
to the east parapet walk. The west parapet walk is accessed through
the garret room at this level.
The parapets walks are
corbelled, as is an oriel window in the south gable. A projecting
garderobe was also added on the west wall in the 19th century.
Within the outer face of the north gable is a dovecot, formerly
accessed via a timber walkway from a high level door. The chimney
runs behind the pigeon holes, ensuring the birds were kept warm in
To the south of the castle, a barmkin or courtyard,
approximately 30m by 13m, was originally surrounded by a stone wall.
It is likely that the first floor doorway was accessed from a
walkway on top of the courtyard wall.
The Lockhart arms
on the hall ceiling.The renovation of 1998 has been sensitively
carried out, with few major alterations. The vaulted cellar now
contains a kitchen, while a bathroom has been installed on the
second floor, now subdivided into two rooms and a passage. Other
works were carried out to strengthen the stone walls, and to reduce
the weight of the roof. In the hall, the ceiling was painted with a
medieval design incorporating the Lockhart arms.
The tower is
a category A listed building, while the ground to the south, which
may once have formed a barmkin, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The
tower itself was de-scheduled to allow the conversion works to go
ahead. As of 2006, there is a house at Carluke High School named
after the tower, although - for unknown reasons - the school spells
it as 'Halbar'.
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