The Sunday Class
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Amisfield   Tower   is   one   of   the   best   examples of   a Tower   House   in   Scotland.   It   dates   back   to around   1600   although   there   was   a   castle   at Amisfield      in      the      1200s,      and      recent archaeological   excavations   are   likely   to   date the   original   tower   house   to   earlier   than   1600. It   was   built   by   the   Charteris   family,   a   Norman family   who   arrived   in   Scotland   with   William the    Conqueror    and    were    then    granted    the lands by the king of Scotland in 1166.  Although    the    basic    plan    of    Amisfield    is    a simple   square   with   four   stories   and   an   attic, its   richness   in   corbelling   and   turrets   gives   it   a more    romantic    guise.    Three    corners    have double-storeyed   turrets   while   the   fourth   is decked.   It   has   a   steeply-pitched   roof.   These upper   features   are   built   in   warm,   red   ashlar in   contrast   to   the   rubble   walls   below.   The corbelling   is   so-called   billet-and-cable   design,   the   stonework   imitating   logs   and   rope.   The   dormer   windows adapted   the   old   French   form   of   bretèche   and   dog-toothed   motifs   surround   the   armorial   panels   and   some   of   the windows. The   basement   is   vaulted   and   the   hall,   on   the   first   floor,   has   three   windows   and   a garderobe.   A   turnpike   stair,   in   one   corner,   leads   to   the   floors   above,   which   have fine fireplaces and tempera wall-painting with lion faces. An   interesting   feature   is   the   ‘Laird’s   Lug’   a   secret   chamber   where   the   laird   could overhear   what   was   being   said   about   him   in   the   hall   below.   This   is   not   unusual   in Scotland and other examples abound, for instance at Castle Fraser. An   oak   door   from   the   tower,   fashioned   by   a   local   craftsman,   is   on   display   in Edinburgh   at   the   National   Museum   of   Scotland.   It   depicts   Samson   tearing   open   the jaws   of   a   lion,   and   with   a   shield   bearing   the   Arms   of   Charteris   and   Herries   and dated 1600. The   Charteris   family   held   the   lands   from   the   13 th C   and   one   of   the   family,   Thomas de   Charteris,   was   Chancellor   to Alexander   II.   They   built   the   tower,   although   there was   probably   an   existing   stronghold   here.   The   family   feuded   with   the   Kilpatricks of   Kirkmichael,   and   Roger   Kilpatrick   was   murdered   in   1526.   Sir   Robert   Charteris   of Amisfield fought a duel with Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig in 1530. Amisfield   House   was   built   nearby   in   1631,   although   it   was   much   remodelled   in   the 19 th C   as   a   two-storey   and   basement   symmetrical   mansion,   incorporating   the   older house.   In   1636   the   property   passed   to   John   Dalziel   of   Newton.   The   Dalziels   were active   Royalists   during   the   Civil   War,   and   Captain   Alexander   Dalziel   was   executed in 1650. The   Charteris   family   sold   the   castle   in   1904,   but   the   20 th    &   21 st    generations   of   the family still reside in the village of Amisfield. A must-see website  by Robert Carney!
Taught/practised on: 2018 July 15 th
AMISFIELD TOWER  (S4x32)  William Williamson  Amisfield Dances  1- 4 1s+2s & 3s+4s Set&Link  5- 8 2s+1s   &   4s+3s   ½   RH   across,   1s+2s   &   3s+4s   change   place   RH   on   sides to 2 1 4 3 all on opposite sides  9-16 All dance reels of 4 on the sides 17-20 1s   &   3s   cross   RH   &   cast   up   while   2s   &   4s   ½   turn   RH   &   lead   down   1 place curving long way in 21-24 1s   dance   down   middle   (2s+3s+4s   step   up)   &   curve   into   4 th    place 2 3 4 1 25-32 All circle 8H round & back
Amisfield Tower and House (Grose, 1789)