Drumry Peel

The Drumry Peel

The Drumry Peel was built c.1535 by Laurence Craufurd who had obtained the land in an exchange with Sir James Hamilton, himself attaining the land by marriage to Margaret Livingston. Sir James acquired the lands of Crawfordjohn in the deal.

The Peel itself may have been a restoration or complete reworking of a previous building used by the Livingston family, the previous lairds. W.F. Hendrie's The history of Livingston notes that the Livingston Peel was "By 1483, the tower from which de Leving defended his lands stood on a rampart of ground and was surrounded by a thirty foot moat, full of water." Their Drumry relatives may have had similar defences, but originally the Peel would have built from wood. W.F. Hendrie again: "... it is believed that the word Peel comes from the French PIEUX meaning wooden stakes which originally formed a high wooden fence or pallisade...the Scots understandably, had difficulty pronouncing 'pieux', called it 'peel' and even after the wooden pallisade had gone retined the name Peel. The same word gives rise to saying 'to be beyond the pale'."

The rebuilding of the Peel was a compliance with the 1535 Act of Parliament which demanded that each landowner was obliged to build a barmkin, or small courtyard "for the ressett and defens of him, his tennentis and their gudis, in trublous tyme", with a tower within if needed as residence. Inside this barmkin would have been stables and other stores. The Peel had one room on each floor; the lower floor would have been the hall, a removable stair leading up to private quarters on the first.

The Colquhoun family acquired Drumry from the Craufurd family in 1747. The Peel fell into disrepair but was restored and renovated by Campbell Colquhoun in 1836.

The tower was modified by Rev. J. Campbell Colquhoun around 1890; the upper part being used as a bothy for the farm labourers and the lower as a stable. The surrounding farm buildings that were around it at that time seem to have been built with stones taken from the old St. Mary's chapel and the Peel. One of the barns had a stone inscribed "Laurence Craufurd". The smithy adjoining it was also built from the Peel.

Drumry Peel, like Garscadden House, is noteworthy enough to be mentioned in Cant and Lindsay's Old Glasgow of 1947, though its Glasgow history only started in 1938 after Drumchapel's annexation. They write "A fragment of a sixteenth century castle has been incorporated, in the eighteenth century, in a narrow tower with a pyramid roof. Drumry belonged to the Livingstones, the last being killed at Flodden."

The Royal Comission of Ancient and Historical Monuments writes "When seen in 1951, the remains consisted of a tower 5.5m square, in good states of repair, used as a store-room for Drumry farm." Despite local protestations, the Peel was demolished in 1958 by Glasgow Corporation when they claimed the building was derelict. The site of the Peel is given as NS 5149 7106.