Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Clackmanan Tower (Clackmanan) Past & Present

P&P Clackmanan Tower past

Clackmanan in 1910. The portion which collapsed was the corner nearest on the left

P&P Clackmanan Tower present

Clackmanan as it appeared on 17 April 2010 on a SCA visit

Clackmannan Tower is situated on the summit of a prominent ridge about 2 miles from Alloa and is visible for miles around. Rather surprisingly for such a high and exposed location there were once terraces and gardens.

The tower dates from 2 periods the oldest portion is the lower part which dates from the late 14th century to which a wing was added in the 15th to form a typical L-shaped tower house. The top is heavily machicolated - a most attractive feature.

Later buildings were added but these have been since been removed leaving the tower very much as it is today though a little scarred. Clackmanan is undermined by coal mines and in 1955 a long crack appeared in the walls of the tower. Nothing was done and the crack widened. As talk went on a large portion of the tower collapsed.

That could have been that - but Clackmanan was too important a site to lose and so the then Ministry of Works decided consolidate and rebuild. Historic Scotland have continued with this work but to this day Clackmanan has not reopened to the public. The Scottish Castles Association obtained special permission to view the interior but only with hard hats, torches and under close supervision. Historic Scotland’s intention is to reopen the tower but after 60 years when?

Added: 22 May 2013 Updated: 08 Dec 2014
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