#150 Greenknowe Tower
The Borders near Gordon, Scotland
This is NOT an official Lego site

Greenknowe Tower (aka Castle) is a roofless but otherwise well-preserved, classic L-plan Scottish castle. The main block contains four stories, while the stair wing on the east houses five. The walls are about 4 feet thick. The tower is entered by a ground-floor door in the re-entrant angle. A broad stair ascends to the hall level, with upper floors accessed by a smaller turnpike staircase corbelled out from the re-entrant angle. Each of the nine main rooms has a fireplace.  There are only a few gun loops.  Two door and two roof outlines can be seen from a north range, not demolished.
The land originally belonged to the Gordon clan, but was obtained by the Setons of Touch through marriage in the 15th century. The tower was built by James Seton in 1581 for his 2nd wife, Janet Edmonstone [the date and their initials are carved in the lintel above the entrance]. Despite the location in the oft contested border region with England, there is no evidence the castle was the scene of significant combat - perhaps heralding the advantages of being owned by "just a minor landowner". In the mid-17th century the tower was sold to the Pringles of Stichill, who enlarged some windows and made other additions.  However, by 1830 the castle was derelict, and passed into State care in 1937.


Etching of ruin Plans of the Castle


Greenknowe (and me) at Hope Academy, Decatur
Friends were waiting to see what magnificent castle would serve as my 150th...
and so was I -- until Suzanne Broussard asked me to show projects at the
F.I.R.S.T. Lego League Regional Robotics Competition on December 12.  I needed
a nice Scottish L-plan to complement my Irish Fortified House, Mallow Castle.
Construction began on December 4 - and took one week.  Perfect timing!


Photos of the Lego Model
Under construction in early December, 2015
The tower is laid out
on December 4...
...and is above (and below)
ground a few hours later.
The ground level is kitchen/
storeroom and grand staircase.
The cooking fireplace is both
large - and lighted.
The kitchen/storeroom
is vaulted...
...and then roofed. We're ready for the hall - and
spiral staircase to the
upper floors.
On December 7 the first
floor is built up.
And the grand stair is
covered by the next floor.
The front view is a bit
more formidable.
The corbels and beams are
carefully added above the hall.
And the second story is
quickly built. The rooms of
the 2nd & 3rd floors were
probably divided by...
...a wooden partition, but I
thought it wouldn't show well,
so its light gray stone.
The front is ready for
traditional Scottish
corner bartizans!
And on December 9, the
tower is ready for its roof.
This will be the last picture
until the castle is completed.
Hope you've enjoyed!


Photos of the Lego Model
Built December, 2015
Here is the completed
model from
the southeast.
The view from the
The west side is open
so the four stories can
be appreciated.
From the northwest.
The north side is where
a later range was attached.
The door might have been
parapet access.
The kitchen fireplace is
lighted with LEDs.
This view highlights the hall
might have been separated
from the kitchen.
Here is more detail
of both staircases.


Build Your Own
Ground & First Floor Plans
Plans for Floors 2 thru 4.
South & East Elevations
North & West Elevations

Other Greenknowe Castle pages:

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney