Sorbie Tower – Sorbie, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Sorbie Tower

Sorbie, Scotland

This fortified L-shaped tower is the ancient seat of clan Hannay. 


Sorbie Tower is the ancient seat of clan Hannay, a fortified tower house that dates back to the late 16th century. The tower is a five-story building, with a grand hall on the first floor and cellars and a kitchen on the ground level.  

It was built for Alexander Hannay of Sorbie, possibly in the 1570s, next to an unusual square 12th-century motte, on a raised mound of land protected by a surrounding marsh. In 1677, the tower house was sold to the Earl of Galloway, then when the last of the line, Brigadier-General John Stewart, died in 1748 the tower fell into disuse and became a ruin.

In 1960, a group of Hannays, Hannas, and Hannahs from around the world met in Edinburgh and founded the Clan Hannay Society. In 1965, Jean Cummins, the then-landowner, donated the ruined tower to the Clan Hannay Society. Since then the hash has been raising funds to restore the tower.

If you are lucky, Steve Hanna will be onsite when you visit. He is passionate about the history of the tower and is a driving force behind its ongoing restoration. His knowledge of the history of the tower and its surrounding area is extensive.

Recent restorations have seen a temporary roof structure added, which has enabled the restoration team to dry out the inside of the tower. Shutters have been custom made to shut out yet more of the weather, and a floor has been laid to make the grand hall usable once more.

Know Before You Go

You can support towards the restoration of the tower at Clan Hannay's website.

The tower has a Facebook page where you can keep up-to-date with the ongoing restoration and events held at the tower.

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March 28, 2022

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