Some Information about Bonshaw Tower

Standing atop a 70ft cliff above the Kirtle River and looking out over the border towards England and the Lake District is Bonshaw Tower, a magnificent example of a Scottish Tower. Today’s tower was built in the 1570’s during the times of the notorious Border Reivers, the third tower on this site. Bonshaw’s purpose was to provide a power base and refuge for the Irving Family. Surviving many raids and sieges relatively unscathed, Bonshaw is one of Scotland’s finest remaining examples of a Border Tower.

Although today’s tower was built in the 1570’s, some claim the Irvings have lived on the site of Bonshaw since at least the 1300’s and possibly even earlier. It has a vivid and colorful history. Legend has it that Robert the Bruce visited Bonshaw when fleeing the English, and around this time the Irvings hid and sustained Robert the Bruce under their nearby tower at Cove.  William de Irwyn became his armor bearer, for which he was granted the Forest and Barony of Drum. King James VI also visited Bonshaw in 1601 on a tour to quell the unruly Borderers.

Today Bonshaw Tower remains the seat of the Irving Family. It is one of the few Scottish Castles still remaining in the hands of its original clan. Very much a private family home, Bonshaw Tower and the adjacent Georgian house are surrounded by beautiful gardens and ancient woodlands with the River Kirtle running below. All Irvings / Irwins / Irvines etc are most welcome to come visit by appointment.