Sauchie Tower

(Devon Tower)

A well-preserved tower house in Central Clackmannanshire, Sauchie Tower - sometimes known as Devon Tower - is situated at Old Sauchie, on sloping ground above the left bank of the River Devon, a mile (1.7 km) north northwest of Sauchie and a half-mile (0.8 km) northwest of Fishcross. The tower was built c.1440, possibly on the site of an earlier tower, by Sir James Shaw (c.1412-92). Shaw had come from Greenock to marry Mary de Annand, whose family had owned the land here since it was given to them by Robert the Bruce in 1321. The rectangular tower comprises four storeys and an attic, is 11.5m (38 feet) by 10.3m (34 feet) and 24m (79 feet) in height. There is a corbelled-out parapet, with bartizans at each corner, and an unusual hexagonal cap at the top of the internal stair-tower with a pointed roof. It was once surrounded by a curtain wall, with a courtyard and ancillary buildings, the remains of which can still be seen.

Another Sir James Shaw, son of the first, was born here and became ambassador to King Edward IV of England and later Governor of Stirling Castle. Mary, Queen of Scots, visited in 1565. The family incorporated the tower as part of Old Sauchie House in the 1630s. This house was demolished by the Coal Board in the 1930s but the tower was left. In 1732, the property passed to Charles Schaw Cathcart (1721-76), 9th Lord Cathcart, who built the nearby Schaw Park as the family home. In the 1790s, the estate was sold by William, 1st Earl Cathcart (1755 - 1843), to his brother-in-law David Murray, the 2nd Earl of Mansfield (1727-96). It was sold again by the 4th Earl of Mansfield in 1826, and Schaw Park was eventually demolished in 1961.

Sauchie Tower is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and now owned by Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust, who replaced the roof in 2001. The Friends of Sauchie Tower was established to work for its full restoration.

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