Colmslie Farm, NW of Langshaw
Minor road and track off A68
Colmslie is a 16th century tower house situated at the east end of the steading of Colmslie Farm, just 820 feet from Hillslaps Tower and about 1,300 feet from Langshaw Tower.
The first floor appears to have been divided into two rooms, a kitchen with a fireplace in the gable with a sink at the back and an oven. The second floor has a single fireplace in the gable. The side walls each have two large windows, three of which have stone seats.
The tower is on private farmland and is not open to the public. Fortunately, the farmer is a lovely chap who has lived on the farm for many years and is able to point out the old Reiver cattle tracks that run close to the farm, so important to life in the Scottish Borders at the time the tower was inhabited.
~ History ~
1536 ~ The lands of Colmslie are owned by Melrose Abbey, with the Cairncross family as tenants. William Carncros de Cowmislie is mentioned in a charter of that year. Following the reformation, it becomes the property of the Borthwick's, passing later to William Cairncross who builds the tower. William being fortunate that his brother Robert is a priest of Melrose Abbey, holding important positions including Provost of the Church of Corstophine, Abbot of Holyrood, Bishop of Ross and Abbot of Ferne. Additionally, twice being appointed to Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. It is Robert who managed to persuade his fellow monks at Melrose Abbey to give some of the lands to his brother William.
1545 ~ Robert Cairncross dies.
1555 ~ William Cairncross of Colmslie tower dies.
1571 ~ The Cairncross forfeit their tower and lands but retain possession for another ninety years.
1660's ~ The tower is acquired by the Pringles.