The tower is thought to have been built in the latter half of the 15th century and would appear to correspond in a number of details with the tower at Craigmillar Castle. Whereas Craigmillar was later much altered and extended, Liberton, apart from some internal alterations, has remained largely intact. Around the middle of the 16th century the east wall of the hall and chamber floor were rebuilt to contain a new staircase to the upper floor and incorporate a fireplace. The chamber floor was partitioned to form two rooms, and the south window of the hall and the window above it were both enlarged.
The family connected with the building of the tower was the Dalmahoys, and a carved panel, on the upper part of the wall on the south side, shows their crest emblem, an arm and sword. Later it passed to a branch of the Forresters of Corstorphine, before it was finally disponed to the Littles, a merchant family and Lords Provost of Edinburgh.
The tower was abandoned as a domestic habitation in the early 1600s. It was used as a farm store, byre and piggery right up until the 1990s, when its owners, the Liberton Trust, granted Castles of Scotland Preservation Trust a lease of one hundred years in order that the structure be restored and put back into use.
Liberton Tower was repaired and restored under the excellent supervision of Simpson & Brown, architects, of Edinburgh. The project was generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and the Architectural Heritage Fund, and credit facilities were provided by RBS.
Liberton Tower has been painstakingly restored to a high modern standard whilst still preserving the ancient rustic feel of a 15th century castle.
The vaulted ground floor contains the kitchen and bathroom. The main entrance is via external wooden steps up to the first floor, where one finds The Great Hall, the main living and dining space with oak beams, a refectory table, wall hangings and a large open fire. The stone slab floor benefits from underfloor heating and a substantial sofa complements the antique wooden furniture.
The upper floor has the two bedrooms with an adjoining door, one with a double four-poster bed and the other with twin single beds. Each of the rooms has its own access from The Great Hall, with a spiral staircase leading to the double, and a straight stair leading to the twin. A small toilet adjoins the twin room.
In addition to the rooms, there is the parapet walkway, access to which is gained through the twin bedroom. From the parapet, splendid views across Edinburgh are to be seen, with a vista that takes in Edinburgh Castle, the Old Town, Salisbury Crags, Arthur’s Seat and Craigmillar Castle.
A small TV with DVD and CD player is provided. The kitchen includes oven and hob, fridge and freezer, dishwasher, microwave and washer/drier, and is fully equipped with crockery, cutlery, glassware and cookware.
Electricity and gas are included, and logs are supplied for the open fire. Duvets, linen and towels are provided. There is ample parking and 1.75 acres of open rough grass available for grazing, formerly named the Sergeant’s Lands. A good selection of shops are within easy reach.
The property has steep stone internal staircases and can only be accessed by stairs. A cot and highchair are available.