Smailholm Tower is a typical tower house, built in 1450 to the same dimensions as the Bemersyde tower. It has five storeys, each of one room.
Built for the Pringle family, Smailholm was repeatedly attacked by the English in the 1540s, the raids only ceasing when the principles agreed not to raid the English or help efforts against the English raiders in Scotland.
Smailholm Tower was the scene of Scott’s Ballad ‘The Eve of St John’.
In 1796 James 2nd Haig compared the two towers “Sandyknow Tower or Smailholm Tower, the same dimensions as this one, Bemersyde viz 24 feet 6 inches by 16 feet 6 inches within walls, and the walls nearly same thickness [seven feet]. Instead of the two-storey below vault, as our parlour and dining-room, there is but one, without a fireplace, but three storeys above that.”
Smailholm Tower is managed by Historic Environment Scotland and open to the public from April to September.