The team working on a £1.1m heritage project at historic Preston Tower in Prestonpans is looking forward to delivering the final stages of the project.

Work completed to date includes repairs to the doocot, installation of new interpretation boards, a new garden seating area around a carved stone contemplation circle and new paths.

Following the removal of scaffolding in the spring, final stonework repairs are being carried out at a lower level.

Other work to be completed includes sections of pointing, consolidation of internal plaster, renewal of metalwork, new floor grilles, installation of electrical points and development of future interpretation/display material, refurbishment of gates and repainting of a railing.

Planning for final phase

The final phase of the project involves the installation of an external staircase to allow public access to the inside of the tower for the first time in over 40 years. Consent from Historic Environment Scotland has now been given for this and planning permission is in the process of being sought.

Design and manufacturing of the stair will commence when the necessary permissions are in place. A new timeline for installation will be confirmed in due course. 

Significant progress with the project has been made, meaning local residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the tower and gardens well into the future.


Preston Tower is a Scheduled Monument, parts of which date back to the 15th Century. During the current repair project, great care has been taken at every stage to ensure that the works are of high quality and sympathetic and sensitive to the structure and fabric of the building.

Traditional construction techniques and materials are required and the council has been working closely with specialist contractors and consultants to deliver an appropriate repair project with all of the works specified by conservation accredited consultants (at Groves Raines Architects Studios) and reviewed by Historic Environment Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland.

Prestonpans Community Council secured initial funding for survey work looking at Preston Tower. Salt of the Earth Heritage Connections, a community network linked to the Area Partnership and funded by The Great Places scheme, has also been a key partner in the development work at Preston Tower building on the initial work taken place.   

The repair project to the tower, doocot and gardens has been funded from a variety of sources including the Scottish Government through its Town Centre Fund and Place Based Investment Programme, as well as the UK Government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund and by the National Trust for Scotland.

Friends of Preston Tower

The new Friends of Preston Tower group (2) Friends of Prestonpans Tower | Facebook) are planning their first event during Archaeology Fortnight on the morning of 9 September between 10am and 12pm and are currently working with council officers on the responsibilities they will take on for managing the site once works are completed.  They are working to appoint office bearers at their next meeting on the 19 of July at the Pennypit Centre 6-8pm.  Some of the other things the group are currently doing are liaising with National Trust for Scotland and council archaeology officer to build content for guided tours.  If you are interested in getting involved please email or

Published: Thursday, 13th July 2023