TWO historic events, one from 500 years ago and another 50 years ago, are to be celebrated in Eskdale this July.
Gilnockie Tower at Canonbie in the Anglo/Scottish Borderland is the ancestral home to the Clan Armstrong and one of the finest examples of a Scottish 16th century tower house or pele tower.
The Armstrong stronghold and home to a Scottish legend, stands in what was known as the Debateable Lands, so called because no one knew whether they belonged to Scotland or England.
The building has a chequered history but in 2015 the current owner, businessman Colin Armstrong, decided he wanted to open the building to the public.
He wanted the public to have an insight into life as it was in the 16th century. He also wanted to encourage tourism in the area.
Extensive repairs were done and in April 2018 the doors were opened to the public.
The building is now a visitor centre featuring a fully-refurbished replica 16th century tower house, complete with furnished rooms and the Clan Armstrong museum.
The building also houses a small coffee shop and gift shop featuring many items associated with the Clan Armstrong.
Neil Armstrong, first freeman of the burgh of Langholm and first man to step on the moon, is remembered in a special exhibition in the tower.
Neil Armstrong visited Gilnockie Tower on March 11, 1972. Among the many items on display in the Neil Armstrong collection is an imprint of his Moon Boot.
Colin came up with the idea that, because the Tower was 500 years old and 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the moon-landing, a celebration should be held.
The moon landing was on July 20, 1969 followed by the historic steps onto the moon on July 21.
To commemorate these historical events, a special anniversary weekend is at Gilnockie Tower on the weekend of July 20 and 21.
During that weekend there will be a re-enactment of 16th century life. There will be an array of craft skills being demonstrated as well as a replica 16th century village and an insight into how people lived at that time.
There will also be musical entertainment, refreshments and a bar. A full programme of events is currently being assembled and it is hoped this will be published no later than mid-May.
The event is open to the public. It is expected that many overseas visitors, especially those with ancestral connections to the Clan Armstrong, will attend this momentous event.
Early indications suggest that about 100 members of the Armstrong Clan Association of America will be there. Enquiries have also come from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It promises to be an eventful and enjoyable weekend.