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Clackmannan Tower

Photograph Clackmannan Tower Scotland

Clackmannan Tower is situated in the town of the same name, six or seven miles from Stirling, and two from Alloa. The tower belonged to David II, who gifted it in 1859 to his cousin Robert Bruce, in the possession of whose descendants it remained until 1791. King Robert Bruce is also said to have resided here, and his sword and helmet were preserved in the tower until the Bruce family died out, when they were transferred to the Earl of Elgin, as the nearest of kin. The old Jacobito lady, Mrs. Bruce, who knighted Robert Burns with the sword of Bruce, resided here. The tower is of peculiar construction. The original keep, which has a gabled roof, eventually became too small, and another wing was built on to the south, which is higher than the original structure. This addition has an embrasured parapet with open machicolations and rounded corners, giveing the structure a very martial air.


Scottish castles and Tower Houses evolved as fortified dwellings that were erected in an environment of weak royal authority and feuding between rival clans. They demonstrated a strong and highly successful design that formed the core of many larger structures. Many of them continued to be inhabited long after the threat of unwanted visitors had diminished and remain excellently preserved for visitors and historians. This book examines these castles and Tower Houses, focusing on their distinctive style that flourished in Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries. Castles and Tower Houses of the Scottish Clans 1450-1650 (Fortress).

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