15 September 2018 (10 am to 4.30 pm)
16 September 2018 (12.30 pm to 4.30 pm)
Completed in 1814 according to designs by David Hamilton of Glasgow the Steeple is the iconic landmark of the town. 140ft tall, it has four stages – the bottom being severe Florentine; the second Greek Doric; the third or clock chamber Italianate; and the belfry Ionic. It was constructed to house the town’s bell and clock, as well as containing temporary lockups. The design was a reflection of civic pride. The original Steeple on the site was erected in 1697 and was the first building to be owned by the Stentmasters – the precursor of the town council. An exhibition on the history of the Steeple will be found in the Howgate Shopping Centre nearby.
Today the ground floor is used as the booking office for local events. During this weekend there will be an opportunity to inspect the two prison cells (lockups). These retain their original reinforced doors and traces of the iron cladding of both the ceilings and the floors. People had escaped from the previous tolbooth, but this was not going to happen here! Please note that access is to the first and second floors of the building only, by a small spiral staircase. You will need to be able to ascend and descend the stairs. We reserve the right to refuse access in reasonable circumstances. Booking essential (Steeple box office).
Architect: David Hamilton
Building Date: 1814
Booking for tours is
recommended in order to avoid disappointment –
free at the Booking Office.