Hartree Tower was a castle dating back to at least the 16th century,
but was demolished in the late 18th century.
The lands of Hartree,
along with those of Kilbucho, are said to have originally been owned by
the Flemings of nearby Boghall Castle, later coming into the possession
of the Douglas Lords of Dalkeith.
The Broun or Brown family lived
at Hartree in 1376, and possibly earlier, who were allied with the
Douglas family. The lands of Hartree were resigned by “James of Tuedy” (Tweedie)
in 1389, presumably back to the Douglas family, and later passed to the
Broun or Brown family.
A Richard Broun of Hartree is mentioned in
a deed from 1409. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Walter Tweedie of
Drumelzier, who was a granddaughter of
James Douglas, the 1st Lord Dalkeith. Douglas confirmed the Brouns’ possession of Hartree in a
charter of 1424.
Who built the first castle at Hartree and at
what date is unknown, however the Browns are thought to have built, or
modified, a tower standing on a knoll, surrounded by marshland, in the
16th century. It was apparently clearly visible from Biggar.
1536 a later Richard Brown, described as the son and heir-apparent of
Andrew Brown of Hartree, was granted the property of East, or Easter,
Hartree by his father-in-law, Malcolm Fleming, the 3rd Lord Fleming,
having married Lord Fleming’s daughter Janet.
remained in the Brown family until 1635 when John Dickson received a
charter from the Earl of Traquair conferring on him several estates
including that of Hartree, becoming the founder of the family of Dickson
of Hartree and Kilbucho. A lawyer by profession, he became an Advocate
in 1649, and took his seat as Lord Hartree.
The Dicksons are said
to have done some work to the tower, and continued living in it until
1775. It was finally demolished by Colonel Alexander Dickson some time
before 1790, and replaced with a new house, Hartree House, around 200m
to the north-west. Several carved stones from the old tower are said to
have been incorporated into the offices of Hartree House, including two
roll-moulded margins dating back to the 16th century.
from 1810 refers to the mansion house at Hartree being “merely an old
tower repaired”, suggesting that an older defensive building was
incorporated into Hartree House. A similar quote from 1815 descries
Hartree as “a tower-house, eligibly repaired; with extensive
improvements in plantations and agriculture.” However other sources are
clear that the new House was built at a distance from the old building
of Hartree Tower.
Early maps shows that there was a Wester
Hartree and an Easter Hartree as far back as the late 16th century,
seemingly quite close together and in the approximate positions of
Hartree House and the site of Hartree Tower respectively.
the then owner of Hartree House, Archibald Dickson, died unmarried, and
the property passed to his younger sister Elizabeth.
Hartree House was converted into a hotel, operating as the Hartree House
Hotel until 2000 when it was converted back to residential use. The site
of Hartree Tower is now occupied by a farm steading, converted for
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