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The Scottish Castles Association
Preserving the Past for the Future

Caldwell Tower (Renfrew) Past & Present


Caldwell Tower old photo

Caldwell Tower as it appeared around 1900

Caldwell is a 16th century tower visible for miles high on its hilltop. Its somewhat truncated appearance is due to the fact that it was once part of a larger courtyard castle.

The vaulted tower rises 3 storeys to chequered corbelling above which (including the roof) is of modern build. The interior has been much 'messed about' and there is no connection between the ground and upper floors access to which is by an outside stair - obviously not an original feature. Small windows and gunloops indicate that defence was a consideration.

Caldwell pictured in 2012

Caldwell Tower pictured in 2012

Caldwell has gone through several attempts at restoration the most recent of which figured in television series called 'Restoration Man'. Here the trials and tribulations of would be restorers of out of the ordinary buildings were showcased for the public’s entertainment. Caldwell had a particularly rough ride through planning permission before the final outcome.

Readers will no doubt form their own opinion as to its merits ...

Caldwell pictured in 2012

More pics of Caldwell Tower taken in 2012


Date posted: 12 Jun 2014Last updated: 08 Dec 2014


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Default: Earliest comments appear first Comments found: (6)
Comment by: Ken Moore on Tue, 21st Jul 2015, 7:04 pmRef id: 55

Shocking! What were the planning department thinking of? Surely a modern extension separated from the house by a glass covering to the stairway would have allowed the distinction between old and new. This looks like a 1950s botch job. I am glad I don't have to look at it every day!

Comment by: David Campbell on Wed, 22nd Jul 2015, 12:26 pmRef id: 56

Whilst I agree with Ken, this tower is in better condition now, having been restored, than it was as a ruin. Would like to know what it looks like internally.

Comment by: John Brennan on Mon, 10th Aug 2015, 10:13 amRef id: 58

Hard to imagine a worse attempt at restoration than this.

Comment by: David on Mon, 24th Aug 2015, 5:47 pmRef id: 60

Surely it is just the blue section that is awful. Perhaps someone will see sense in the future and replace this bit with something more in keeping?

Comment by: Roger Griffith on Sun, 22nd Nov 2015, 10:18 amRef id: 78

Reminds me of the beach huts at Teignmouth - my childhood home. I remember the attractive, appropriate and enhancing designs of the previous owner that Historic Scotland rejected. It is beyond belief that this passed muster and one questions the legitimacy of the authorities involved in granting permission.

Comment by: Gary Dawson on Thu, 27th Oct 2016, 9:01 pmRef id: 99

Good to see this wee gem restored but I must admit could they not finish the job in stone.

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