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The Once and Future Tower

Elphinstone Tower is a medieval Scottish tower that lies just west of the village of Dunmore, near Airth, Scotland. Since its first stones were laid in 1503—the same year the kingdom celebrated the marriage of James IV to Margaret Tudor—it has played its part in half a millennium of history perched atop a hill overlooking the Firth of Forth.


Its grounds have been the site of a castle, church, graveyard, and crypt. Today what remains is a mere ruin, a memory of a dream of a tower—but what a dream! Having chanced upon a rather unique estate agent listing ("needs a little TLC", the description began, with characteristic understatement), we laughed, shook our heads, and wondered aloud who on earth would be crazy and foolish enough to take on such a project, a hopeless wreck and indubitably the mother of all money pits. Who, indeed, we wondered, would put reason aside and let themselves get carried away with the romance of ancient arches, the play of light and shadow through windswept leaves onto battlements, and the smell of old stone? If not us, then who?

And so, dear reader, we bought a tower.

This site is a celebration of Elphinstone Tower—past, present, and future—and hopefully, as we carry on, a chronicle of our efforts to preserve and restore this 16th century treasure. We hope you'll find something of interest, and if not, we hope you will at least enjoy the simple pleasure of laughing at our expense.

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