Preston Tower


Preston, Chathill, Northumberland, NE67 5DH

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Preston Tower

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Preston Tower is one of very few structures remaining from the Border Reiving times of the 1400s, a period of uncertainty and endless threats to those living along the border between England and Scotland. Others such as Smailholm Tower near Kelso or Fatlips Castle close to Jedburgh are perhaps more evocative of the harder life endured from the west coast to the east coast; Preston is slightly different being slightly older and a little more formal in it’s setting. The site today is about a third smaller than was available as a refuge from raiding reivers for about a hundred and fifty years from the mid 1400s; once the crowns of Scotland and England were united in 1603 reiving gradually slowed down and stopped, making a large structure such as Preston Tower less necessary. The reivers were essentially mounted thieves that rode on moonlight nights from settlement to settlement in search of easily-transported goods: grains, cattle or perhaps even people who might be worth a ransom; if refuge were at hand locals were safe hence the doorway at ground level to press cattle into at short notice.

Visitors to Preston Tower can see the structure in it’s current form and as there is a model on the ground floor of a historian’s evaluation of the original building they can also begin to imagine life at Preston in the 1500s. Further pointers to the life might be the scale of the interior: by 2022’s standards the doorways are tiny!

Border Reiver History is spread across the countryside that straddles the dividing line between Scotland and England: from the west at Hermitage Castle close to Hawick, the Bastle House at Black Middens near Kielder Forest in central Northumberland to Preston Tower in the east Reiver History is a fascinating study with Preston being a perfect place to start.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult£2.50 per ticket
Concession£2.00 per ticket

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.



  • Picnic area

Establishment Features

  • Accept coach parties
  • Dogs Accepted
  • Public toilets

Key Features

  • Smoking Areas Available

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (free)

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Guided tours


Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)

* The site is open every day during daylight hours EXCEPT Christmas Day.

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