Bonshaw Tower – History


Standing atop a 70ft cliff above the river Kirtle and looking out over theborder towards England and the Lake District is Bonshaw Tower, a 4 storey Tower House. Today’s tower was built in the 1570’s during the times of the notorious Border Reivers, Bonshaw’s purpose was to provide a powerbase for Irving Family. Surviving many raids and sieges relatively unscathed , Bonshaw is one of Scotland’s finest remaining examples of a Border Tower.


Although today’s tower was built in the 1570’s, it is thought the Irvings have lived on the site of Bonshaw since at least the 1300’s and possibly even earlier. It has a vivid and colourful history. Robert the Bruce visited Bonshaw when fleeing the English and around this time William de Irwyn became his armour bearer for which he was granted Drum Castle. King James VI also visited Bonshaw in 1601 on a tour to quell the unruly Borderers.


Today Bonshaw Tower is the seat of the Irving Family. It is one of the few Scottish Castles still remaining in the hands of its original clan. Very much a private family home, Bonshaw Tower is surrounded by its own beautiful gardens and ancient woodlands with the River Kirtle running below.


Bonshaw Tower offers you the classic combination of a beautiful historical family home surrounded by romantic, charming, private grounds and thoroughly environmentally friendly credentials. The current Laird and close family have all married at Bonshaw, and are now pleased to announce that this superb wedding venue is now open for civil ceremonies, marriage renewals and naming ceremonies in either the Tower or gardens.

Offering it as an exclusive
venue, the grounds will be yours alone for your time at Bonshaw.


To find out more or to arrange a viewing of the Tower please do call us on
01461 500980 or 07780937894.

Alternatively, email Claire Irving –

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Comments 5

  1. Malcolm Irving

    My wife and I are travelling up to Scotland during June/July this year in our motor home. We would love to come and see the “family seat”


    Malcolm Irving

    1. Chris

      Dear Malcolm,
      You are most welcome. Please call us on 01461500980 closer to the time to arrange a convenient slot.
      Kind Regards
      Chris and claire

  2. James Erwin

    It is great to see Bonshaw Tower from afar (Colorado) on “the web”…a little different web than the web and spider contemplated at one time by Sir R. the Bruce!? I have a copy “The Book” (of the Irvings, Irvines, and Any Other Spelling of the Name) #299…keeping it in good health. All the best from the states,
    -J. Erwin

  3. Barbara Jane Irwin

    Good Evening! My son and I will be traveling in Scotland in late July. We plan to be in the area of the Bonshaw Tower on July 25th and 26th. We would love to visit the Tower while we are there. My brother and I visited the Tower back in the 1980’s on a trip to see where our Scottish ancestors were from and had a chance to enter the Tower and view the amazing set of genealogical books set around the perimeter of the Tower Room. It was a highlight of our trip-if possible, I’d like to share that experience with my son.
    It’s wonderful this is still in the “family”! Thanks for your consideration. Sincerely, Jane Irwin, Winnetka Illinois USA

    1. Chris

      Dear Jane, we may be around then but could be away at that time of year. If we are away, we may be able to get someone to show you in anyway. Please could you e mail us on closer to the time and we can make arrangements. Yours Aye Chris Irving of Bonshaw

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