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Tower Houses

Many noble men built their family strongholds in Clackmannanshire so that they could be in close proximity to the Royal Court at Stirling. There were many castles, keeps and mansion houses, some of which can still be seen today.

Alloa Tower

Alloa, Clackmannanshire 6 miles East of Stirling, on A907 Telephone 01259 211701 E mail

Alloa Tower

This enormous keep which was built in 1497 by the 3rd Lord Erskine, is what remains of the ancestral home of the Earls of Mar. Alloa tower is one of the largest tower houses in Scotland and this prize winning restoration is now open to the public.

The Erskines were supporters of the Stewart dynasty and had moved to Alloa to be near Stirling.
Thomas Erskine, the King's bodyguard, foiled the Gowrie Conspiracy and was enobled as Lord Erskine by James II in 1460.
The 5th Lord Erskine was promoted to be Earl of Mar in 1565 and then became Regent of Scotland.
The 2nd Earl was one of the two ambassadors who went to England in 1603 to negotiate the English throne for James VI.

The younger Stewart princes spent a lot of time at Alloa Tower as children, especially James V and Mary Queen of Scots who came here for safety after the birth of her son, James VI.

The 6th Earl of Mar was the Secretary of State for Scotland and a principal signatory of the Treaty of Union during Queen Anne's reign. He also layed the foundation for industrial Alloa. After the Hanoverian Succession, he raised the Jacobite Standard at Braemar in 1715 for the ex-King James VII and II. For this he was attained for High Treason, exiled and forfeited his lands and titles. The titles were restored to his grandson, John Francis Erskine in 1824.
The Tower was splendidly remodelled by the 6th Earl and partly completed before he was exiled after the 1715 Jacobite uprising.

Rare Medieval features include the oak beamed roof and interior well, groin vaulting, 11 feet thick walls and an underground dungeon. There are impressive 18th century Italianate modifications, superb furniture and portraits of the Erskine family which, includes paintings by Raeburn, Kneller and David Allan.

Running intermittently throughout the season, there will be a display of Jacobite Weaponry and Costume by Na Fir Dileas (The Loyal Men). Entrance is included in your ticket price and viewing is at usual Tower opening times.

Open 31 March to 31st October
7 days Daily 1pm to 5pm
morning visits available for pre-booked groups

National Trust for Scotland; Friends of Alloa Tower; National Trust etc. Free.

Clackmannan Tower

Off the A907. Signposted from High Street, Clackmannan

The tower dates back to the fourteenth century and was the home of the powerful Bruce family. The lands for the tower were granted by King David II, Robert the Bruce's son to Robert de Bruce in 1365. The original rectangular, pink sandstone tower which dates from the late 14th century has been added to over the years and much of the building is still standing.
Access to the outside only with views over the Forth Valley and the Ochil Hills behind.

Sauchie Tower

At the moment Sauchie Tower is only open for special guided tours during Scottish Archaeology Month and Doors Open Days each year in September.

Signposted from High Street, Clackmannan

The tower was granted to the de Annan family by Robert the Bruce in 1321.From 1420, it became the home of the Schaws of Sauchie who were Masters of the King's Wine Cellar.
With views over the River Devon and the Ochil Hills, this was a grand structure which is now mostly in ruins.

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