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.
This 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. Encyclopedia.com. 12 Apr. 2012.
For a ‘street view’ of Lag Tower click here.