Barrhead, Stewart's Rais Tower

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Alternative Names Tower Of Rais
Canmore ID 43860
Site Number NS55NW 1
NGR NS 5090 5944
Former District RENFREW
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

NS55NW 1 5090 5944

(NS 5090 5944) Stewart's Rais Tower (NR) (Site of)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1974)

The Tower of Rais, later known as Stewart's Rais, was built some time between 1437 and 1449 by the Stewarts of Darnley. It was square in form with very thick walls. In the centre was an archway like that at Crookston Castle (NS56SW 4) which extended over the whole breadth of the interior. It was used as a hunting lodge by the Darnley family. Taylor (1832) notes that several years before 1832, it was partly demolished to provide material for houses in the vicinity. It was completely removed in the 1930's, the remainder of its stones being used for road bottoming.
Welsh (information from T C Welsh to OS, 13 September 1973) notes that the farmer at Dubbs (NS 516 590) states that stones from this tower are incorporated in the farm buildings.
C Taylor 1832; R Murray 1942; J McWhirter 1970.

The site of this tower is represented by a flat, circular area, approximately 13m in diameter, in a naturally undulating field.
No surface finds or traces of masonry were found.
Visited by OS (J F C) 31 March 1954.

NS 508 594. During June 1999, a watching brief and trial evaluation were carried out at Dovecothall, Barrhead, along
the route of a new foot/cycle path connecting Barrhead with Pollok. The proposed area of the Levern Water Cycle/Walkway contains the remains of a 15th-century tower house known as Stewart's Rais Tower. The cycle path's construction slot partially exposed the base of the tower house. This was recorded in detail and carefully backfilled. The cycle route was diverted to avoid the area of archaeological significance. (GUARD 744).
Sponsor: East Renfrewshire Council.
M Donnelly 1999.

Books and References

Donnelly, M (1999) 'Levern Walkway and Stewart's Rais Tower (Neilston parish), watching brief and evaluation', Discovery Excav Scot
Page(s): 35

McWhirter, J (1970) Mine ain grey toon,
Page(s): 14-16 illust.

Murray, R (1942) Annals of Barrhead,
Page(s): 109-10

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