Tam's Tall Tales

- Alloa Tower Saved for Nation

Alloa Tower

Largest and Oldest Keep Gifted to National Trust for Scotland

Historic Alloa Tower is to be handed over to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). The 14th Century keep, the largest and oldest of its kind in Scotland, is to be gifted to the National Trust by Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust.

Alloa Tower is the ancestral home of the Erskine family, the Earls of Mar and Kellie. It was originally built to guard a ferry crossing on the River Forth, and was home to both James VI and Mary, Queen of Scots, during their childhoods - it was Mary who conferred an earldom on the Erskines in 1565.

The current Earl of Mar and Kellie is Premier Viscount of Scotland. The Erskine coat of arms are still visible on the wall of the tower (see graphic) with the motto in French "Je Pense Plus" - "I think more". He lost his right to sit in the House of Lords as part of a 1999 reform, but got it back when he was created a life peer as Baron Erskine of Alloa Tower. A very British compromise.

The tower is the first property the NTS has acquired in seven years.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
April 2015

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