Once the fortress home of a branch of the warlike Annandale Johnstons, Elshieshields Tower has had a long and stormy history. Continuously inhabited for 600 years this ancient building has witnessed war and murder, times of prosperity as well as moments of personal tragedy and economic ruin. In recent times it was the much loved home of the noted historian Sir Steven Runciman (1903-2000) who kept his library in the tower rooms and found here the tranquillity to write several of his major works.
Today under its present owner, visitors are welcome for retreats and study periods: the Upper Room in the tower houses a specialist library on theology and Christian spirituality, with particular emphasis on Russian Orthodoxy.
The Bothy offers self-contained space for scholars wishing to consult the Library, or to anyone seeking respite from busy lives for a personal retreat.
Day visitors are welcome as well as those coming for longer stays. The Barn is available for day groups.
Tours of the tower can be arranged for special interest groups (family history, architectural history, Scottish history) though numbers have to be limited because of narrow staircases.
Elshieshields is 6 miles from the M74 and 7 miles from Lockerbie railway station.