Fulford Tower (site of)
The old Tower of Fulford was built some time towards the end of the 16th century, and consisted of four storeys in an oblong block.
In 1665 the lands of Fulford were erected into the barony of Woodhouselee along with those of Woodhouselee for Sir William Purves of Abbeyhill, later the Solicitor General for Scotland. In the same year Sir William used stone from Old Woodhouselee to repair and remodel Fulford Tower. Fulford was subsequently renamed Woodhouselee, while the former Woodhouselee became known as Old Woodhouselee.
Old Woodhouselee was said to be haunted by the ghost of Isobel Hamilton, wife of James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, and according to legend her spirit was transferred to Fulford along with the stones.
Sir William’s daughter, Rosina Purves, married James Deans and Woodhouselee passed to them late in Sir William’s life (he died in 1685). James Deans of Woodhouselee is mentioned in the Parliamentary Register in 1678 and 1696. Following her husband’s death Rosina married Sir John Ramsay, 2nd Bt. of Whitehill, who was described as “the laird of Woodhouselee” in the Parliamentary Register in 1702.
Woodhouselee seems to have passed next to Robert Deans, the son of Rosina and James, who sold part of the estate to Alexander Pitcairn, the husband of his sister Margaret Deans, in 1727. Pitcairn sold his part of Woodhouselee to Patrick Crichton in 1734, from whom they passed to William Tytler in 1749.
Tytler seems to have carried out some remodelling of the old tower as the upper floors were rebuilt in 1796 leaving only the basement untouched. He died at Woodhouselee in 1792 and was succeeded by his son Alexander Fraser Tytler who became a Lord of Session in 1802 with the title Lord Woodhouselee.
Lord Woodhouselee was a keen antiquarian and bought a fireplace, an ornate sundial and numerous carved stones from the demolished Burgh Muir Castle (also known as Wrychtishousis) in Edinburgh. Several of the stones were built into an archway on the lawn at Woodhouselee.
A heraldic panel with the initials “M A A” arranged around a carved shield bearing three stars above two bars and a crescent was incorporated into the archway along with the stones from Burgh Muir Castle but doesn’t match any known individual associated with that castle. It may therefore have come from the Tower of Fulford, although Lord Woodhouselee may have obtained it from elsewhere.
Woodhouselee passed down the male Fraser Tytler line, to Lord Woodhouselee’s second son James Tytler, his grandson James Stuart Fraser-Tytler and his great-grandson Major James Francis Fraser-Tytler, before the estate was sold in 1922.
At some point Woodhouselee and Old Woodhouselee seem to have become separated as the ruins of the latter are now within the policies of Firth House, built in 1770 as a dower house for the Inglis family of Auchendinny House. Woodhouselee and Fulford Tower were demolished in 1965 and the site is now grassed over.
Alternative names for Fulford Tower
Foollfoord; Fullfoord; Tower Of Fulford; Woodhouselee
Where is Fulford Tower?
Fulford Tower is in the parish of Glencorse and the county of Midlothian.
Grid reference:NT 2370 6450
Lat / long:55.867654,-3.220715