Corstorphine Hill Tower (also known as Clermiston Tower or the Scott Tower) is a memorial to Sir Walter Scott. This year, 2021, is the 250th Anniversary of Scott’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the building of the Tower. On 15th of August, Scott’s Birthday, we held a special event at the Tower to celebrate one of Edinburgh’s most famous sons.
The tower, built on glaciated dolerite, is square in plan, with buttressed corners; it has a corbelled, battlemented parapet surmounted by a small tower. It is built of coursed whinstone, likely to be from quarries on the hill, with dressed sandstone for the openings, parapets and plaques, probably from one of the large Edinburgh sandstone quarries.
In 2003, the Tower saw another milestone in its history, the 70th anniversary of its official handing over to the then 'Edinburgh Corporation'. The Tower was repaired and opened to the general public after agreement with the owners of the land around the Tower that they would give ground for access, free, provided the Corporation would erect an iron fence to separate it from their property. Another repair and re-opening in 2003, this time after vandals damaged the Tower in April 2002. It was carefully restored, at an approximate cost of £5,000. The doors were opened to visitors again, with Corstorphine Hill Tower taking its rightful place among the 180 buildings and monuments owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. It may jostle for prominence on the hill these days but it justifies a prominent place in our hearts.