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The Gatehouse website record of

ye Thornwhase (Thorniewhats)

a location shown on a 1590 map of the West Marches of Scotland (The Aglionby Platt)

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as; Thonytwaite

In the civil parish of Canonbie.
In the historic county of Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
Modern Authority of Dumfries And Galloway, Scotland.
1974 county of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY389784
Latitude 55.09684° Longitude -2.95754°

The given map reference is suggested as the probable location of ye Thornwhase shown on the Aglionby Platt.

There are no visible remains.

The likely form(s) of this building in 1590 are;

  • Pele House ('bastle').

A section of the 1590 Aglionby Platt. Image reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

unlocated This tower, which is depicted on a map of 1590, cannot be located; the modern farmhouse of Nether Thorniewhats is at NY 389 784. (J and R Hyslop 1912; RCAHMS 1981)
Listed as tower. (RCAHMS 1997) (Canmore 101302)

(NY 3862 7821) Gilnockie Castle (NR) (Site of) OS 6" map (1957)
Earthworks which suggest a promontory fort of familiar type. (RCAHMS 1920)
The name 'Gilnockie Castle' seems to have been applied here because of the opinion held by some authorities, and disputed by others, that Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie had a tower at the E end of Gilnockie Bridge, possibly the predecessor of that noted on At the same time the Armstrong clan were responsible for the building of many of the border towers in the debatable lands, and on a small scale map of 1590 a tower is shown at 'ye Thornwhate'. Nether Thorniewhats is at NY 389 784. It is not known it there is any connection between 'ye Thornwhate' tower and the site E of Gilnockie Bridge. (J and R Hyslop 1912)
Situated on a promontory in a bend on the River Esk are the remains of a small fort measuring about 40.0m NE-SW by 36.0m transversley. It consists of a substantial earth and stone rampart with a causewayed entrance in the centre. The remaining sides are protected by the steep natural slopes to the river. The S side of the fort and the rampart and ditch have been mutilated by modern tracks and road. The interior has been quarried and there is no trace of any tower. The site is still known as 'Gilnockie Castle'. There is no trace of a tower at Nether Thorniewhats. Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (RD) 21 December 1970
No change to the previous report. Visited by OS (JP) 20 February 1973
Gilnockie Castle: This medieval earthwork is situated on a promontory overlooking the River Esk at the E end of Gilnockie Bridge. A bank (7.5 m thick and 1.8m high) and external ditch cut off the neck of the promontory and defend an area measuring 61m by 36m. The interior has been extensively quarried and is crossed by the A7 public road. (RCAHMS 1981, visited December 1980)
Listed as earthwork (castle, possible). (RCAHMS 1997)
Scheduled as 'Gilnockie Castle, earthwork NE of Gilnockie Bridge... the remains of an earthwork, probably of later medieval date, surviving as a bank and ditch cutting off a prompntory in a bend of the River Esk (and) located in mature deciduous woodland.'(Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 26 March 2008)
Gilnockie Castle
Fort (NAT) OS (GIS) MasterMap, August 2009. (Canmore 67519)

The modern farmhouse at Thorniewhats is entirely consistent with the site as shown on the 1590 map (although that map is difficult to interpret and can be erroneous). However the map is clearly intended to show fortified houses in the West Marches. A site called Gilnockie Castle lies 450m SW of Nether Thorniewhats farmhouse.
The date of the earthworks at Gilnockie appears to be pre-historic. Despite it's obvious defensive quality there is no actual evidence of a late medieval dwelling here. It should be remembered that the main function of the marcher 'peles' (of all forms) was to be a farmhouse, the centre for agricultural activity and that defence was secondary to that activity. With the needs for animal and cart access considered it may be seen why actually prehistoric earthworks are actually rarely re-used.
The resident householder c. 1590.

1561 - Jamy Foster ("The names of the Greymes of Eske and Leven within the Countie of Cumberland gyven in by Richard Greyme of Netherbye to the Lorde Dacre, Warden of the West Marche of England" P.R.O. SP 59/9 ff. 197-203 (CSP For, 1561-62, no. 442), dated 23 August i 56 r)
- see Spence, R.T., 1980, 'The Graham Clans and Lands on the eve of the Jacobean Pacification' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 80 p. 92 online copy
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This record created on 08/06/2015 09:55:34; This record last updated on 17/09/2015 11:21:37

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