Alloa Tower is an early 14th century tower house that served as the medieval residence of the Erskine family, later Earls of Mar. Retaining its original timber roof and battlements, the tower is one of the earliest, and largest, of Scottish tower houses, with immensely thick walls.

It was originally built as part of a line of fortifications defending the north shore of the Firth of Forth. Several 19th century works, including Groome's Gazetteer, date the tower to the year 1223. Archaeological investigations from the early 1990s date the original fortified house to the early 14th century, where it had a cellar that sometimes served as a pit prison. By the mid-14th century it had been enlarged with a great hall and rose to three storeys in height, with the entrance on the first floor. In the 15th century it was further enlarged to four/five levels while retaining its first-floor access. Late in the 16th century ground-floor access was probably added.

John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar built a very large mansion (Alloa House) in 1710 that incorporated the tower as its annexe; he made plans to remodel the tower's interior, but it is unclear what changes were actually made. The house burned down in 1800 and was rebuilt by George Angus in 1834–1838 for the 9th Earl. It was demolished sometime after 1868.



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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Udo Van Den Brock (12 months ago)
Not much to see or do there.
Tony Simpson (13 months ago)
Lovely looking building but it was shut. Next time.
Crafting by Design (14 months ago)
Interesting to look around the outside of. Don't be concerned if the road signs appear to be leading you into a housing estate - that's where it is! Free parking though, so all is good
Matthew Graham (2 years ago)
Good but, touring the castle doesn't take long. I would plan in lunch or a trip to a second attraction if looking to fill the day/afternoon.
Dugald MacGilp (2 years ago)
Important monument to the role of Erskine family in the political and economic development of Scotland. National Trust property with limited seasonal opening. Architecturally significant - largest tower house of this design/style.
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