Gilnockie Tower
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Closed until 17 Mar 2024

Gilnockie Tower

Gilnockie Tower
5
Historic SitesAncient RuinsPoints of Interest & Landmarks
Temporarily closedClosed until Mar 17, 2024
About
Gilnockie Tower is a stunning example of a Scottish pele tower. Built some 500 years ago, it was home to Johnnie Armstrong, a notorious border reiver. In 1530 this powerful chieftain was hanged by a Scottish king, his story romanticised by Walter Scott. 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 structure has been completely refurbished and is open as a clan and visitor attraction. Gilnockie Tower houses reiving artefacts and the world’s largest collection of Armstrong archives. The Clan Armstrong Trust Museum, originally housed on the Lodge Walk, Langholm is now closed, and all of the original displays have been moved to GILNOCKIE TOWER, Canonbie, DG14 0XD on the Anglo-Scottish Border. Please follow the brown signs to the Clan Armstrong Centre between Langholm and Canonbie on the A7 Carlisle to Edinburgh visitor route.
Duration: < 1 hour
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles40 reviews
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34
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Barbara R
Blackpool, UK270 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Family
fell in love with this little place .will go again and the staff so nice .interesting history .great view from the top .
Written 7 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Welsh NZers
Auckland Central, New Zealand1,200 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
It was quite a blustery day but it was really worth visiting the Tower. Set in farmland,
Gilnockie (Little White Tower) Tower was built by Johnnie Armstrong in 1529 in the heart of the lawless Debateable Lands as a stronghold for one of the area's most notorious Reiving families.

The Tower was occupied until the early 1600's when the Armstrong's, along with other Reiver families, were driven out of the area as the result of an Act of Parliament, introduced by King James I.

Lying empty for more than three centuries, it deteriorated into a shell of just the outer walls & the stairway. The roof & the internal floors had collapsed completely.

In 1995 it was purchased from the Duke of Buccleuch by businessman Colin Armstrong, a former British Consul. He renovated it into a private family home. In 2015, Colin decided that Gilnockie Tower needed to be "smartened up" to make it more attractive to visitors & that was how we saw the Tower. We found it fascinating & were grateful for the audio guide recorded by Tom, the Head Guide, with additional information provided by Ian, Manager of the Tower.

There isn’t a cafe here, but the guides will make you a hot drink & there are a few small packets of biscuits. The connection to Neil Armstrong is also very interesting.

There is no lift, just a narrow staircase up each of the floors , so this is not a mobility friendly activity. There is a bathroom on one of the floors.

A really interesting place to visit and the guides are full of information about its history. We’ll worth coming to see.
Written 16 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Greg R
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Gilnockie tower is a must see for all Clan Armstrong descendents as well as others who are interested in the history of the reivers. Tom’s audio commentary is very informative and tells a great tale of Johnnie Armstrong.
Written 26 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GobiBear
Columbia, Maryland, USA15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
A fine example of a Border Reiver Tower House with several exhibits dedicated to the Armstrong family, notorious Border Reivers. Fun to go up on the parapet (where you can walk around the entire tower). Gives a great sense of the importance of the River Esk to those families settling here in the 16th Century Debateable Lands. Very well-stocked gift shop and does include bathroom facilities.
Written 18 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara R
Blackpool, UK270 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
What a fabulous surprise.So nice these days to get value for money and such really nice ladies running the place on day of our visit.As the sun was shining we were able to go out on the tower top and look out on beautiful country side.Parking,toilets and a place set aside for coffee shop.There you could also buy a few gifts and books which were nicely set out .The whole place was well looked after and clean and friendly.A lot to see and each floor something different.The Armstrong room very interesting lots to read and lots to look at about the family and there connection with Neil Armstrong .I would say lets go again some time in future visits to the area as the visit really was a good one .Surprised how much is inside .
Written 16 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alderado
Blackpool, UK370 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Friends
An excellent place. Greeted at the door by 2 friendly and welcoming ladies who worked there and sorted us out with tickets and audio guides. There was plenty to listen to and look at throughout the many floors of the tower. The building was clean, tidy and appeared well looked after. It was interesting to learn about the Armstrong Clan, as well as Neil Armstrong's visit. Lots of pictures, stories, displays, and so on had a good layout.
Each floor provided something different and interesting to look at. Also, you can go outside on the very top where you can walk right around the balcony which has great views.

Parking was free and there were toilets on-site (One inside on the 2nd floor and another outside I think). In the small shop, there is space with a couple of tables if you fancy getting something from the coffee shop too.

I recommend a visit to Gilnockie Tower if you're in the area or passing by. It's a lovely building and some very interesting things to learn about. It's fun exploring the tower and going out to the top parts. By the sounds of things they are going to try to continue to work on ways to further improve visitors' experience, so I look forward to seeing what they add or change in the future.
Written 14 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeni I
46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Family
Fascinating find, just off the A7, well worth an hour of your time.
Lovely greeting, great audio tour
So really pleased the brown sign drew us in
Written 29 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EllyG
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
A fantastic attraction, with so many displays and information. The owner of the tower has done an amazing job restoring this important piece of heritage for future generations. The guides are very knowledgeable and welcoming, nothing is too much trouble. Will definitely revisit, the upcoming Neil Armstrong family visit looks great can't wait for that.
Written 18 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HistoryMalc
South West England, UK8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Lovely little tower, home of the Armstrong clan and has two really helpful staff only too keen to talk about the family history, the tower itself and the local area. A great introduction to clan life and the world of the Border Reivers.
Written 17 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dandlv
Maidenhead, UK26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
If you're an Armstrong this is the place to visit. If you want a feel for Border Reivers this is the place to visit.

It's a well presented snapshot of borders history set in a beautifully restored tower. The links to Neil Armstrong and his lunar flight are fascinating.

Great audio guides and the staff are knowledgeable and friendly.
Written 18 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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GILNOCKIE TOWER: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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Gilnockie Tower is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 - 16:00


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