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Gilknochie Tower Reivers Centre – Home to the Clan Armstrong

‘On the border was the Armstrongs – able men, somewhat unruly, and very ill tae tame!’

Gilnockie Tower is one of the finest examples of a Scottish 16th century Scots tower house or pele tower.

A Clan Armstrong stronghold and home to a Scottish legend, it stands in what were known as the Debateable Lands – so-called because no-one knew if they belonged to Scotland, or England.

These lands gave shelter to unruly men, among them, the Armstrong’s. The most lawless clan on the border, it is said they did more damage by foray to England than any two Scottish families combined.

It was here, on the banks of the River Esk, that an Armstrong laird made his home, in a place called the ‘Holehouse’. Hollows Tower is now known as Gilnockie Tower.

Johnnie of Gilnockie was a Border Reiver, one of the many riders and raiders who terrorised the English/Scottish divide in the sixteenth century. Rich and feared, he ran a protection racket right across the Borderland. Today we can compare him to the mafia…

Johnnie Armstrong Cafe

The Johnnie Armstrong Cafe 

Serving Tea and Coffee

Cake and Biscuits

Soft Drinks

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A Clan Armstrong Stringhold

Gilnockie Tower, a Clan Armstrong stronghold. Home to a Borderland legend.

Gilnockie stands in what were known as the Debateable Lands; so-called because no-one knew who they belonged to. Was it England, or was it Scotland?

A Truly Historic Location

Gilnockie Tower has five floors, including vaulted chamber, banqueting hall and spiral staircase.

The entrance stone is thought to be two thousand years old. Once a roofless ruin, the place has been completely refurbished and is open as a clan and visitor attraction.

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

Take a peek inside!