FP100: No. 65

Balcarres Craig Folly. Pic: Simon Douglas
Balcarres Craig Folly. Pic: Simon Douglas

Balcarres Craig Tower

Stately Balcarres House, with its stunning landscaped gardens, has looked benevolently over Colinsburgh for centuries.

And while this impressive mansionhouse can date its foundations back to the 16th century there is another eye-catching landmark on the estate.

To the east of the house, standing atop a rocky hillside known as Balcarres Craig, is a somewhat intimidating fortress-like building.

This is Craig Tower, and while it might look distinguished from afar it is, in fact a folly – constructed primarily for decoration.

The Gothic-styled Craig Tower, surrounded by mock ruins, was built by James Fisher in 1813 and Historic Scotland describes it as a “round, four-storey, castellated, whinstone tower with a Gothic window and crosslet loophole in its west façade”.

The eminent Presbyterian Covenanter preacher John Blackadder who, despite a Government ban, continued to preach in the fields after the restoration of the monarchy, apparently preached at a conventicle on the crag during the 17th-century persecution of the Covenanters.