Repentance Tower

A watch-tower located on a hill-top which forms a prominent landmark in Dumfries and Galloway, Repentance Tower is located 2 miles (3 km) northwest of Brydekirk and 4 miles (7 km) northwest of Annan. This modest, square, three-storey tower was the work of John Maxwell, Lord Herries, in 1565 and it is thought to have been used to give warning of English invasion to his home at Hoddam Tower, located a half-mile (0.8 km) to the north. There are several tales as to how it acquired its name Repentance, which is inscribed on the lintel above the entrance; one suggests he was feeling guilty about the hostages who had been killed when Maxwell withdrew his allegiance from the English Crown, or that he regretted demolishing a nearby chapel to construct Hoddam Tower and built this structure to appease the powerful Archbishop of Glasgow, or indeed that the word is simply an instruction to those visiting the 18th-century graveyard which now lies next to the tower. The graveyard includes the burial enclosure of the Murrays of Murraythwaite and within this is the grave of a black African servant who died in 1776 and the family clearly held in high esteem.

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