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February 2, 2013 – 3:17 pm | Comments Off

… four Grierson families all have documented connections to SW Scotland, with a span of 150 – 350 years according to the various records. One representative is located in the USA, two are in England, one is in Australia. None have a direct family legend of descent from the Lag family, although one has a connecting historical claim.

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On the Lag trail with some of the homes of the Griersons of Lag, plus many other interesting places.

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Lag Tower

Submitted by on August 17, 2012 – 5:30 pm 6 Comments

Lag Tower, Dunscore,
Dumfries and Galloway

Built by Vedast Grierson, in 1460, Lag Tower has been in ruins for many years. Sir Robert Grierson 1st Bt was the last in the family to actually live at the Tower. Sir Robert eventually leased it to tenants and moved to Rockhall before spending his later years at Turnpike House in the centre of Dumfries.

The following description of the Tower is taken from Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, Volume III, 1889, by MacGibbon and Ross.

Lag TowerThis keep stands about three miles from Auld Garth Bridge, the road winding round green pasture hills. It is situated on a knoll in the midst of a wilderness of rank vegetation and ruins, adjacent to a farm steading.

The building of which the walls remain to a considerable height, measures 29 feet 9 inches from north to south, by 25 feet 3 inches from east to west. The door is in the middle of the south end, and led directly by a passage through a wall 3 feet 9 inches thick into the basement floor, which consists of an apartment 17 feet 11 inches long by 13 feet 6 inches wide. The upper floors, of which there were three, contained each one room of the same dimensions. From a passage in the north-east corner of the tower a wheel- stair 3 feet 3 inches wide led to the upper floors.

The entrance seems to have both an outer door and one which folded into the passage. Another door also opened into the ground floor, and it is probable that the foot of the stair had also a separate door. None of the floors were vaulted.

The ground floor is lighted by a small slit 3 inches wide, and has no other opening.

The first floor has a fireplace in the north end, and two side lights with pointed arches. The second floor has a fireplace also in the north end, with a garde-robe alongside, and similar arched windows towards the west. The corbelling for the joists of the third floor remains, but most of the walls above this height are gone.

From the north-west corner of the tower a ruined wall runs diagonally down the hill for about 35 feet, and at the foot of the hill, at a distance of about 10 feet north-westwards, there are the remains of ruined outbuildings.

The place name Lagg or Lag is from Gaelic meaning ‘Place by a hollow’.
A. D. MILLS. “Lagg.” A Dictionary of British Place-Names. 2003. 12 Apr. 2012.

For a ‘street view’ of Lag Tower click here.

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  • Charles Grierson says:

    I’ve been wondering how, when and why the tower was leveled. I assume by the English or an opposing clan, but if you have any information on this you should definitely link that to the site. Thanks!

  • Erica says:

    Lag Tower is certainly not leveled but in a ruinous condition, as the photo in the article shows. It is like that through age and neglect, certainly not because of the English or any other Local Family [Clans are in the Highlands - not the scottish Lowlands]

  • Hoc Securior RQM says:

    The Lag Tower Preservation Trust was launched back in 2007 by William Crawford and Philip Hamilton-Grierson, who instructed an architect to draw up plans to stabilise the Tower. However, on submitting the plans to Historic Scotland, the government agency responsible for such projects, they responded with stipulations costing £400,000 and more for additional works. This effectively scuppered any plans to rescue the Tower. The Trust’s own project had been costed at between £25,000 and £30,000.

    We understand that there is current local interest in purchasing the Tower, but that nothing has as yet come of this.

    • Gayle Greer Clutter says:

      Recently I visited the Dumfries area & while visiting with William Crawford, I proposed that we start a world-wide Grierson effort to raise funds to suppport the restoration of Lag Tower. The already existing Lag Tower Preservation Fund could act as the coordination/contribution center. I know that my family & I would GLADLY make contributions & I’m sure there ae many other Griersons around the world who would also. We could plan “phases of restoration” and have goals for each phase. I have also volunteered to do anything else I can help to make this a reality. William mentioned that they might need a “secretary” & I said I would be happy to do whatever I could. I have several ideas on how this might work. I am currently the president of a proferssional Foundation, so I do have some linuted experience in this area. I really think this can be done!

  • Charles Grierson says:

    Thank you Erica. I am uninformed on many subjects such as this as I live in America, but I’ll take note of that.

    It would be hard to gather up several hundred thousand dollars, or pounds rather, to help in the rebuilding of the tower, but it might be possible. If this is acted on, I will surely lend my assistance. It would be tough, but Gayle has a good idea going.

  • Hoc Securior RQM says:

    The place name Lagg or Lag is from Gaelic meaning ‘Place by a hollow’.
    A. D. MILLS. “Lagg.” A Dictionary of British Place-Names. 2003. 12 Apr. 2012.

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