SAUCHIE TOWER is the only tower house in Clackmannanshire that has not greatly altered since its inception.

In 1321, King Robert Bruce granted the lands of Sauchie to Henri de Armand, the Sheriff of Clackmannan, and through his descendant Mary de Armand, who married Sir James Schaw of Greenock, passed to the Schaws.

Between 1430 to 1440 Schaw built Sauchie Tower with Old Sauchie village growing up around it.

Schaw was sent as an ambassador of James III to Edward IV of England to negotiate the marriage of the infant James, later James IV, to Edward’s daughter Cecelia, and later he became Governor of Stirling Castle, both prestigious positions within the Scottish court. This enabled him to afford the construction of his new home.

Built in a rectangular shape with pink sandstone ashlar blocks, it measured 11.5m (approximately 38 feet) by 10.3m (approximately 34 feet) and rose four stories, including the split ground floor, as well as additional attic rooms.

On the ground floor was a vaulted cellar with an unusual entresol fitted in beneath the vault which served as a kitchen, with a bakehouse below the hall. This later became a private room.

There was also a well on the ground floor, supplying water to the family. On the first floor was a grand hall with stone wash-hand basin, complete with a carved Gothic head, and external drain. There was also a grand fireplace with finely sculpted jambs and beneath the window recesses were stone benches.

On the west wall there was access to a private chamber. Above, on the second and third floors, were the bedrooms.

Although not crow-stepped, outer stone steps were put in place for surveying purposes. At the north-west corner of the slated roof is a hexagonal, spired stone cape-house which covers the top of an internal circular turnpike staircase which allowed access to all floors within in the tower.

A later addition to the roof area is the broad corballed parapet and machicolations that are thought to be simply decorative rather than defensive, and four small corner turrets. The tower was also enclosed by a courtyard and an outer wall, some of which is still visible to the north of the tower.

The main entrance was on the west facing wall with a flagstone path leading to the door, and in the 18th century a porch was added. Around this time a byre or stables was built against the north wall of the tower.