Preston Tower

Artibrand creates bespoke illustration as part of interpretation solutions at Preston Tower in Prestonpans, East Lothian.

Although we had an overview of historical facts about the tower and gardens, there was very little information regarding the interior of the tower or information on the family who lived there. Any official paperwork is believed to have been destroyed during its burning (on 3 occasions) and the building has lain in partial ruin for 360 years. We created a historical document based on research of nearby buildings of a similar age (15th – 17th century).

Interestingly, we discovered the ‘fashion of the day” was to have a highly decorated painted ceiling. Most of these were either based on illustrations of fruit, vegetables and flowers, or gargoyles and mythological creatures.

We redrew some of these figures and icons to use as supportive images to create a link with the story of the tower during its occupation and interpretation solutions in the garden. A large bronze plaque depicts the tower, surrounded by icons (scallop shell, unicorn, cabbage, floral decoration, apple tree, mythological figures) and 8 zinc rubbing plaques onto oak posts, which form part of heritage trail.