Categories of Special Interest
1790 - 1820
Detached folly or observation tower on square-plan, built c. 1800, having tapering profile, and with viewing platform to roof. Originally associated with Tyrcallan House (see 40906914). Constructed of coursed rubble stone masonry having roughly dressed rubble stone quoins to the corners, and projecting stone course to base of southeast corner. Single loop hole/slit window to the south-west elevation. Segmental-headed door opening having roughly dressed voussoirs, roughly dressed jambs, and replacement wrought-iron gate; central cavity accessed at ground floor via segmental-headed door opening. Flag stone floor to viewing area accessed via stone stairs (on spiral-plan) with central circular void. Replacement metal stair railings and cover to cavity at parapet level. Sited on the summit of a wooded hill, visible from approach trackway at east. Located to the north-east of Stranorlar, and to the north-east of Tyrcallan house.
This conspicuous tower is an interesting feature of some picturesque appeal in the rural landscape to the north-east of Stranorlar. Well-built using local rubble stone masonry, it survives in good condition with some modern repairs. It was originally built as an observation tower or folly associated with Tyrcallan House (see 40906914), a hunting lodge that survives in a dilapidated condition to the south-west of site. It was probably originally built by Sir Henry Steward who bought the Tyrcallan estate from the Revd. Oliver McCausland in 1789 with a partner, George Whitlocke. Lewis (1837) records ‘…set in a beautiful and extensively planted demesne, on the principal elevation in which the proprietor has erected an observatory’. Occupying an attractive hilltop site in an extensive wooded landscape, this tower forms a pair of related structures with the associated former hunting lodge, and is a local landmark, and integral element of the built heritage of the Stranorlar area.