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Elphinstone Tower

Elphinstone Tower
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Elphinstone Tower

The remains of Elphinstone Tower lie a half-mile (1 km) west of the village of Elphinstone and 2½ miles (4 km) southwest of Tranent. Once a massive oblong five-storey structure some 17m (57 feet) in height, the tower was partially demolished, leaving only the lower storey of its 2.75m (9 feet) thick stone walls.

It was begun in the 13th century, but not completed until the 15th century. A modern house was attached in 1600, but this was demolished by the owners is 1865. The old tower had been dangerously undermined by the nearby Elphinstone Collieries and was demolished in 1955.

The tower was home to the Lords Elphinstone, who latterly made their home at Carberry Tower, lying 2 miles (3 km) to the west. In 1545, the Protestant martyr George Wishart (1513-46) was brought here from Ormiston by James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell (1536-78) and handed over to Cardinal Beaton who took Wishart to St. Andrews for trial and his subsequent execution.


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