Smailholm Tower was built in the first half of the 15th century by the Pringle
The primary purpose of Smailholm Tower was to provide a secure residence for the Pringles and their immediate family. Ever since the Wars of Scottish Independence in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, lawlessness and raiding plagued the region. A key function of Smailholm was to provide a continuous watch for attackers with a beacon being lit should they be sighted. A seat for the watchman was built into the chimney stack. Nevertheless, when attacks came the tower could do little more than shelter a handful of people.
Anglo-Scottish relations deteriorated during the early 16th century when James IV of Scotland, fulfilling his treaty obligations with the French, invaded England. He was defeated and killed at the Battle of Flodden (1513).The then owner of Smailholm, David Pringle, lost his eldest son and three brothers in the battle. In the decades that followed the borders suffered from raiders and in the 1540s a further war with England, the Rough Wooing, caused further misery for the local populace.
In the latter half of the 16th century the main branch of the Pringle family relocated to Galashiels. By 1645 the owner of Smailholm, James Pringle, was in financial difficulty and sold the tower to Sir William Scott of Harden. He leased it to Walter Scott, who built a new house. It only remained in use for around 50 years before the Scotts built a new house nearby at Sandyknowe. Smailholm Tower itself was abandoned at this time. Nevertheless the tower had a powerful effect on the young Walter Scott - the famous novelist, playwright and poet. The sight of his ancestors’ tower is said to have fired his imagination.
Image by @myinstascotland ———————————————————
The calm and quiet as the last light of the day float away. I’m always looking for a chance to photograph in the hours either side of sunset and often I see people taking photos give up the second the sun goes away. But the blue hour after sunset sometimes gives the best light. The sunset on this day was hugely uneventful and I was wandering back to the car somewhat unimpressed, but the soft light that came afterwards was perfect.