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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Currie.] LENNOX TOWER. 333 The surface of the pond on Harelaw Muir is 802 feet above the level of the sea. One of the chief antiquities of Cume is Lennox Tower, on a high bank overhanging the Water of? Leith, and now called by the rather uncouth name of Lumphoy. It is a massive edifice, measuring externally fifty-five feet by thirty-five, with walls above seven feet in thickness. It is entered by an archway on the north, where the gate was secured by a horizontal bar, the socket of which as cattle were apt to stray into it. The extent of the outer rampart, which goes round the brow of the hill, is given in the ? Old Statistical Account ? as measuring ?304 paces, or 1,212 feet.? It was surrounded by a moat, and there can still be traced the remains of a deep ditch. Though small, it was undoubtedly a place of some strength. Amongst the many conjectures of which it has been the subject, one declares it to have been a hunting-seat of James VI. and a residence of George still remains in the wall. It is all built of polished ashlar; the hall windows are arched, with stone seats within them, and the ascent to the upper storeys has been by a narrow circular stair, part of which still remains within the thickness of the wall, at the north-east angle, the steps of which are only three feet long. It is said, traditionally, to take its name from the Lennox family, to whom it belonged; and the same vague authority assigns it as a residence to Mary and Darnley, and afterwards to the Regent Morton. It occupies very high ground, commandhg a beautiful prospect of the Firth of Forth, and has a subterranean passage to the river, which was Heriot, hy whom it was bequeathed to a daughter, ? from whom, along with the adjacent land, it was purchased by an ancestor of the present proprietor.? It has been alleged that there existed a subterranean communication between it and Colinton Tower, the old abode of the Foulis family; and the common stock story is added that a piper once tried to explore it, and that the sound of his pipes was heard as far as Currie Bridge, where he perished. But people were still living in 1845 who had explored this secret passage for a considerable way. ? It is supposed that the garrison (in war time) secured by this means a clandestine supply of water,
Volume 6 Page 333
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