The tower dates from the 15th century, became ruinous in the 19th century, and was later restored in the 1960’s to its present state. The tower was the occupied by the Jardine family until they moved to a nearby mansion.
The story goes that a miller named Dunty Porteas was locked away in the tower dungeon for some petty reason after he had fell out of favour with Sir Alexander Jardine. Sir Alexander went on an errand to Edinburgh forgetting that the dungeon keys were in his pocket. The poor Miller slowly starved to death, and when the door was opened it was discovered that in his desperation and hunger he had gnawed the flesh from his arms and hands. For years afterwards the ghost of the miller tormented the family with tortuous screams of hunger and pain.
The Jardines in desperation hired an important minister, who carried out an exorcism and finally managed to confine the spirit to the dungeon. The binding was carried out with the aid of a bible that was left near the dungeon and acted as a barrier for Dunty’s restless spirit. The bible was sent to be rebound in Edinburgh in 1710, allowing the millers spirit to roam free and wreak havoc once again, until the bible was returned to its rightful place. Folklore to this day says that of you poke a stick into the dungeon of Spedlins Tower it will come back half-chewed.
The ghost of Porteus moved with the Jardine family in the 19th century when the abandoned the castle for a more comfortable mansion, which has since been demolished. The story may date to the early 17th century, as the bible – which was once on show – dated to 1634. The story appears in ‘The Antiquities of Scotland’ Francis Grose 1789.