Border Towers Came in Threes

This is from Highways & Byways in The Border,

Up the glen- the Fairy Dene, or Nameless Dene – formed by this stream [the Tweed] lies Glendearg, the ver described in the opening scenes of the Monastery [by Scott]. there are in fact, 3 towers in the glen Hillslap (now called Glendearg), Colmslie, and Langshaw. Over the for of the first is the date 1595, and the letters N.C. and E.L., the initials of Nicholas Cairncross and his wife. Colmsie belonged to the family of Northwick; their crest, a Goat’s head is still on the ruin… But who in old days owned Langshaw is not known to me For mutual protection, Border towers were very commonly built thus in groups of three – as instanced at the neighbouring village of Darnick, where formerly, besides the present existing bastel-house [from Bastile?] there stood 2 others. “In each village or town,” says Sir Walter, “were several small towers, having battlements projecting over the side-walls, and usually an advanced angle or 2 with shot-holes of flaming the doorway which was always defended by a strong door of oak studded with nails, and often by an exterior greed for of iron. These small peel-houses were ordinarily inhabited by he principal fears and their families; but upon the alarm of approaching danger the whole inhabitants thronged fro their now miserable cottages, which were situated around to garrison these points of defence. It was then no easy matter for a hostile party to penetrate into the village for the men were habituated to the use of bows and fire-arms, and the towers being generally so placed that the discharge from one crossed that of another it was impossible to assault any of them individually

The above initials confirm what I read elsewhere that women in Scotland had the right to keep their names at marriage, here as they were often left in charge of security when the men were off on raids.

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