Pringle of Greenknowe

Greenknowe Tower (owned by Historic Scotland, open all year)
The ruined L-plan tower bears the date 1581 and the initials of J. Seton  of Touch and his wife J. Edmonstone. It was later purchased by the Pringles of Stichel. Greenknowe was sold in 1785 to George Fairholme of Greenhill.

Greenknowe stands half a mile west of the Berwickshire village of Gordon. The L-shaped tower consists of a four storey main block with a  wing a storey higher. Above the door in the re-entrant angle are shields with the arms of Seton and Edmonstone with initials and the date when the  tower was built; 1581.

Three of the angles of the building are surmounted by small turrets  with gun loops and in the re-entrant angle above first floor level rises a  stair turret. In the basement is a vaulted kitchen with an arched  fireplace. A wide newel stair rises only to the first floor, the rooms  above are accessed from the turret stair.

Greenknowe came to the Setons by marriage with a Gordon heiress. In the 17th century it passed to the Pringles of Stichel and was the home of the  famous Covenanter Walter Pringle of Greenknowe, whose memoirs were published at Edinburgh in 1723 (see below). The well preserved ruins are in the care of Historic Scotland.

Greenknowe Tower. An inside & out Aerial Observation:

Online book:
The Memoirs of Walter Pringle of Greenknowe, carefully transcribed by James Pringle of Greenknowe in 1684. Edinburgh 1723, Second Edition 1751.
The Memoirs of Walter Pringle of Greenknowe, ed. by Rev. Walter Wood, with notes and an appendix. Edinburgh 1867.

Lineage of the Pringles of Greenknowe:

  • Robert Pringle of Baitingbus, 1st Laird of Stitchill
  • Walter Pringle of Greenknowe, 1st Laird of Greenknowe (1625-1667). Second son of Stitchill. 
  • Robert Pringle of Greenknowe, 2nd Laird (eldest son of Walter) (1651-1672) died unmarried.
  • James Pringle of Greenknowe, 3rd Laird (2nd son of Walter) (1656-1694)
  • George Pringle of Greenknowe, 4th Laird (son of James) (1680-1724) had an only son James who predeceased him.
  • John Pringle of Greenknowe, 5th Laird (3rd son of Walter) (1659-1732) heir to his nephew George.
  • Sophia Pringle of Greenknowe, 6th Laird (Widow of James 3rd Laird and daughter of James Pringle of Torwoodlee)
  • Janet Pringle of Greenknowe, 7th Laird (Daughter of James 3rd Laird)
  • George Pringle of Torwoodlee, 8th Laird of Greenknowe
  • James Pringle of Bowland, 9th Laird of Greenknowe, who sold Greenknowe to his grandson George Fairholme of Greenhill in 1785. George’s Coat of Arms included the Pringle of Greenknowe and Torwoodlee Arms.

Descendants in America:

  • Robert Pringle, 1st of Stichel, descending from Hoppringill of Craiglatch/Newhall
  • Walter Pringle, 1st of Greenknowe
  • James Pringle, 3rd of Greenknowe
  • George Pringle, 4th of Greenknowe (b 1669?)
  • James Pringle (b 1700)
  • Thomas Pringle (b 1733), immigrated to USA, lived in Kentucky
  • William Pringle (b 1785), moved from Kentucky to Iowa
  • Joel Johnson Pringle (b 1820)
  • Charles L. Pringle (b 1868)
  • Lee Amos Pringle, (b 1902), moved from Iowa to Wisconsin
  • Kenneth Pringle, (living)
  • Thomas Pringle, (b 1964), moved from Wisconsin to Texas