Bassendean House

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Alternative Names Bassendean Tower
Canmore ID 57338
Site Number NT64NW 8
NGR NT 62795 45880
Former Region BORDERS
Former District BERWICKSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Accessing Scotland's Past

Bassendean has been the seat of the Home family since 1583. Bassendean House was built in the seventeenth century and is still in domestic use. A fragment of an earlier square tower-house can still be seen at its southern end.

Bassendean House is a three-storeyed structure to which additions have been made over the centuries. A greenhouse was constructed on one of the remaining tower house walls during the nineteenth century. This was removed in the mid-twentieth century, and turrets added. A sense of unity is given to the building by the use of similar roofing slates and crow-stepped gables throughout.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project at

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Archaeological Notes

NT64NW 8 62795 45880

Bassendean Tower. A fragment about 15' high at the S end of Bassendean House is all that now remains. It is overgrown with ivy and supports a greenhouse, and represents a rectangular building 23' x 17'. In the SW angle is an old sundial with a monogram in the upper corner of the E face.
RCAHMS 1915, visited 1908.

NT 6281 4587. The remains of this tower are represented by a stretch of walling 6.5m long on the south and approx. 3.5m high, of massive construction in red sandstone, with a further stretch extending N. at right angles from its eastern end and are wholly incorporated in the later Bassendean House, the turret above this was added between 1940-55, when the ivy and the greenhouse were removed. The monogram on the sundial appears to be "AH", probably relating to one of the Homes.
Visited by OS(JFC) 23 February 1955.

Known as Bassendean, given to the Homes in 1583. (Information from Captain R G Home, Bassendean).
Is two years later than Greenknowe (Berwick 27 NW) which is dated 1581.
Visited by OS(JLD) 29 April 1955.

Reports by OS surveyors (JFC) and (JLD) confirmed.
Visited by OS(EGC) 29 August 1963.

Bassendean House remains in domestic occupation. Fragments of the tower-house that are visible in the later work include a fragment of a stair-tower (at first- or second-floor level near the SW angle) and a length of window-slot (low down on the S wall). The sundial that is built into the SW angle bears the date 1690, and the eroded datestone that is set over the front door appears to read 1874.
Visited by RCAHMS (RJCM/JRS) 30 September 1993.

Books and References

Coventry, M (2001) The castles of Scotland Musselburgh
Page(s): 82 Held at RCAHMS F.5.2.COV

MacGibbon and Ross, D and T (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v Edinburgh
Page(s): vol. iv, p.381 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.MAC

RCAHMS (1915) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Sixth report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Berwick, Revision Edinburgh
Page(s): 160, No.285 Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.INV(6)

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