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Alternative Names Brakenside; Breckonside Tower
Canmore ID 49732
Site Number NT10SW 2
NGR NT 10797 02191
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

NT10SW 2 10797 02191

(NT 1079 0218) Breconside (NR)
OS 6" map, (1965)

Breconside, now a farmhouse, consists of an oblong tower originally built in the last decade of the 16th century (when it stood three storeys and a garret high; its roof level has since been lowered and the crowstepping removed). Alterations and additions were made in the 17th century. The N and E sides of the tower are little altered. A large semi-octagonal stair-tower was inserted in the W side in the 18th century, and large windows were opened on that side in the Victorian period, when a lower extension of a kitchen, two living rooms and a porch was also added. (The spelling of the name of this tower has been altered several times over the years - 'Breconside' was the version authorised in 1980.)
W A J Prevost 1980; RCAHMS 1920; N Tranter 1965

The original tower measures 10.8 m E-W by 6.8 m externally with walls 1.0 m to 1.5 m thick; the vaulted ground floor is divided into two rooms. There is a wheel-staircase in the W corner.
Visited by OS (DWR) 20 January 1972.

Breconside and remains of [NAT] Tower [NR]
OS 1:10,000 map, 1988.

Breckonside Tower. A 16th-century 3-storey tower-house with later alterations and remodelled, perhaps twice in the 19th century, with enlarged windows to S in regular 3-bay arrangement; a mid-19th-century low crow-stepped wing adjoins the E gable. The S elevation has been rendered as ashlar with ashlar margins, the remainder being exposed rubble. There is a full height central semi-octagonal stair turret with tall facetted roof, flanking bipartites at first floor level and single windows above, while a low porch links the turret to the E wing. There are brick end stacks and slated roofs. The ground floor is vaulted and the single openings to the N and S are both probably insertions; the gables and rear wall are otherwise blank except for some blocked openings. The wing has a corniced stack on a crow-stepped plinth over the E wall-head. The building is in neglected condition.
SDD List 1988 (listed 1971; visited 1987).

Incorporated into Breconside farmhouse (18th-century and later), there are the remains of a 16th-century tower-house. Original features are confined to the basement of the house and comprise a vaulted chamber (8m from W to E by 4.4m transversely within walls 1.1m thick), later divided into two compartments by a cross-wall, and a newel-stair (blocked at first-floor level) in the SW angle. The entrance-doorway was adjacent to the stair in the S wall; its lintel remains, in reuse in an 18th-century casement window, and is wrought with a bullnosed moulding and internal check. To the interior, there is evidence of a blocked window in the W wall, an aumbry at the E end of the S wall, and there is a surviving original window in the N wall at ground level. The later house, although dilapidated, is distinguished by its panelling.
Original features include some 18th-century raised-and-fielded panelling (mainly in the window embrasures and shutters), skirting and cornices. 'Brakenside' is on record in 1590.
Visited by RCAHMS (IMS), 15 May 1990.

This small and much-altered tower-house in a valley 3 miles SE of Moffat is probably of late 16th century construction with 17th-century alterations and additions. Breckonside is now a farmhouse.
M Lindsay 1994.

Breconside. Rubble-built three-storey house, perhaps of the mid or later 17th century.
J Gifford 1996.

Listed as tower.
RCAHMS 1997.

Books and References

Gifford, J (1996) Dumfries and Galloway, The Buildings of Scotland series London
Page(s): 444 Held at RCAHMS Quick

Lindsay, M (1994) The castles of Scotland, London
Page(s): 96-7 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.LIN

Maxwell-Irving, A M T (2000) The Border towers of Scotland: their history and architecture: the West March, [S.l.]
Page(s): 89-90 Figs 160-1 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.MAX

Prevost, W A J (1980a) 'The lands and tower of Breconside', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.55
Page(s): 124-132

RCAHMS (1920) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Seventh report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Dumfries, Edinburgh
Page(s): 169, no. 475 plan 169 Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.INV(7)

RCAHMS (1997a) Eastern Dumfriesshire: an archaeological landscape, Edinburgh
Page(s): 312, no. 1290 Held at RCAHMS A.1.7.DUM

SDD (1960-) List of Buildings of Architectural or Historical Interest, (Lists held in Architectural Department of RCAHMS) Scottish Development Department
Page(s): Annandale and Eskdale District, Moffat ph. (1988), pp. 1-2, no. 3

Salter, M (1993) The castles of south-west Scotland, Malvern
Page(s): 64 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.SAL

Tranter, N (1962-70) 'The fortified house in Scotland', Edinburgh
Page(s): vol. 3, 77-8 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.TRA

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