Gilnockie Tower

Home of the Clan Armstrong Centre.

 

Explore the Past

Gilnockie is one of the finest examples of a 16th century pele tower.

 

Was it England, or was it Scotland?

Gilnockie stands in what were known as the Debateable Lands; so-called because no-one knew who they belonged to.

 

Experience

The Turbulent Heritage of the Past

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Gilnockie Tower open as normal.

During the last few days we have been installing scaffolding and a green protective cover around the Gilnockie Tower so that we can replace the upper walkway safety fence, and to carry out remedial works to the high level stonework construction.

History, Mystery and Discovery while exploring the far-reaching lands of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers, join us for an enthralling 500 years of Clan Armstrong History at Gilnockie Tower.


Program of events for the Gilnockie Towers 500th Birthday

and
Neil A Armstrong’s 50th Anniversary of landing on the moon weekend at Gilnockie Tower.

 

Friday 19th July
Welcome to Gilnockie Tower.
Reivers move in with the construction of Gilnockie Village.
Amateur Radio Station GB50GT set up and will transmit worldwide over the Apollo 11 mission timeline.

Saturday 20th July
10-am-4pm Visit the repaired Gilnockie Tower walkway open to the public.
10-am-4pm Open for bartering is our 16th-century Gilnockie Market Place.
10-am-4pm 16th-century Gilnockie Village with Teviotdale Steel Bonnets re-enactors will you help with your 16th-century questions. Demonstrations throughout the day.
Check our information board – Amateur Radio Station set up and will transmit worldwide over the Apollo 11 mission timeline.
Hughsrigg Pottery at Canonbie, demonstrations throughout the day,
Hog and Beef Roast with accompanying bar faculties, all day.
Lakeside Distillery, with the new but famous Steel Bonnets Whisky sampling.
Piper perambulating the Gilnockie Tower grounds.

Sunday 21st July
10-am-4pm Visit the repaired Gilnockie Tower walkway open to the public.
Open for bartering is our 16th-century Gilnockie Market Place.
10-am-4pm 16th-century Gilnockie Village with Teviotdale Steel Bonnets re-enactors will help with your 16th-century questions. Demonstrations throughout the day.
Check our information board – Amateur Radio Station GB50GT set up and will transmit worldwide over the Apollo 11 mission timeline.
Hughsrigg Pottery at Canonbie, demonstrations throughout the day,
Hog and Beef Roast with accompanying bar facilities, all day,
Background music by local accordionist band, the Bon-accords.
Lakeside Distillery with the new but famous Steel Bonnets Whisky sampling.

2 pm – Gilnockie Tower: Afternoon Talks about the Apollo 11 Mission by space historian and author Dr. Ken MacTaggart.  Dr. James Hansen, author of the book FIRST MAN, which became an award-winning film of the same title, will share personal stories and insights about Neil Armstrong, the man.

3 pm – Haydon Goodfellow, local astrophysicist discussing the moon.

Dr. James R. Hansen is a professor emeritus of history at Auburn University. A former historian for NASA, Hansen is the author of twelve books on the history of aerospace and a two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in History. His 1995 book SPACEFLIGHT REVOLUTION was nominated for the Pulitzer by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the only time NASA ever nominated a book for the prize.
Dr. Hansen served as Co-Producer for the award-winning film FIRST MAN, which is based on his New York Times Bestselling biography of Neil Armstrong. Hansen’s biography of Armstrong has been translated into over 20 foreign languages. Dr. Hansen lives in Auburn, Alabama.
The book First Man is on display at Gilnockie Tower, and the books (including Kindle ) and movie are available on Amazon.

Dr. Ken MacTaggart is a Space Historian and writer on spaceflight who has extensive speaking experience around the UK and abroad.  His fascination with Apollo started in 1968 with the launch of Apollo 7 and he followed all the subsequent flights closely, later interviewing many of the astronauts.  He was Technical Advisor to the History Channel TV movie ‘Moonshot’ which commemorated the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 in 2009, working on set in Lithuania with the Director and actors.
Ken has worked on NASA’s Apollo Lunar Surface Journal with editor Dr. Eric Jones and colleagues for 20 years and is co-editor of the Apollo 11 Flight Journal established by W. David Woods.  He has interviewed and written about spaceflight for The Independent, The Herald, The Scotsman, Spaceflight and numerous other magazines and newspaper, plus TV programs.
Ken is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and works as a technology consultant, advising public agencies on science and space policy.  As well as his interest and deep knowledge of spaceflight, he has published on a range of other historical subjects, so his angle on Apollo is often quite different from the purely technical.
Ken resides in his native Scotland.
Ken’s book Astronaut Owners’ Workshop Manual ( Haynes 2017) is a thorough yet readable history of space programs of all nationalities. The book and the movie “Moonshot” are both available on Amazon. A copy of the book is on display at Gilnockie Tower.

Haydon Goodfellow, Astrophysicist, will give a Moon Talk.

£5.00 entry, children free.

 

 

Gilnockie Tower is a stunning example of a Scottish Pele tower. Built almost 500 years ago, and it was home to Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie, a notorious Border Reiver. In 1530 this powerful chieftain was hanged by a Scottish king, and his story romanticised by Walter Scott.

Gilnockie Tower has five floors, including vaulted chamber, banqueting hall and spiral staircase. The entrance hall stone is thought to be two thousand years old. Once a roofless ruin, the building had been completely refurbished during the 1970s, and following recent repairs and redecoration is open as a clan and visitor attraction.

The Clan Armstrong Centre houses reiving artefacts and the world’s largest collection of Armstrong archives.

Neil Alden Armstrong

Professor Neil Alden Armstrong, Astronaut, the first Freeman of the Burgh of Langholm,

“My pleasure is not just at the honour accorded me in this the land of Johnnie of Gilnockie, but as the genuine feeling I have among those hills, and more particularly among these people.” Neil Armstrong,

Gilknockie Tower Figurine

Gilkockie Tower Figurine

These limited-edition figurines depicting “Gilnockie Tower the ancient home of the Clan Armstrong are individually hand made in the border town of Langholm, by Sandra and Norman Maxwell.

Between them they have 77 years’ experience in figurine manufacture gained in the employ of Border Fine Arts, world renowned manufacturer of collectable figurines

Border Reivers

The Reiver Trail

Reivers, often recognised as the finest light cavalry in Europe, raided both sides of the Anglo-Scottish Border during the 16th century. They were opportunists, and would take what they could, where they could, but did respect their own kinfolks

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