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Statistical Accounts of Scotland

Roxburghshire

Old and New Statistical Accounts

Ancrum Eckford Kirktoun Minto Sprouston
Ashkirk Ednam Lessudden Morbattle Stitchel and Hume
Bedrule Hawick Lilliesleaf Oxnam Wilton
Bowden Hobkirk Linton Roberton Yetholm
Castletown Hounam Makerstoun Roxburgh
Cavers Jedburgh Maxton Smailholm
Crailing Kelso Melrose Southdean

Click on parish for text

RobertonStitchel & HumeEdnamSmailholmSproustonKelsoLintonYetholmMorebattleHownamEckfordOxnamJedburghBedruleCrailingMakerstonRoxburghMaxtonAncrumMintoLessudden (St Boswells)LilliesleafBowdenMelroseSouthdeanCaversAshkirkWiltonHawickHobkirkKirktonCaversCaversCastletown

The OSA links below are to the Edina site. In most cases they are to the main entry on roads for each parish but some additional links are provided to other relevant information. When Edina page appears go to browse scanned pages for the link.
Additional information about parishes can be found on the Vision of Britain site.
NSA links are to the GoogleBooks site. There may be other passing references to roads in a parish account.
The old photograph of Hawick is from the Detroit Publishing Company's Views of Landscape and Architecture in Scotland - see thumbnails on Library of Congress site here.

Ancrum
OSA
Dere StreetAncrum bridge is on the great road to Jedburgh. There is a narrow bridge at the church for the convenience of the parishoners. Another bridge a little below the village helps make journeys to Jedburgh, Kelso and the Merse safer for those parishes to the west of Ancrum.
A Roman road runs east of the Edinburgh road.

NSA
Jedburgh is the main market and post town, although markets in other towns are also visited.
There are good roads and the Edinburgh to Newcastle turnpike passes through the east of the parish with stagecoaches twice a day.
Coal is very expensive as it has to come from 30 miles away. The distance from lime is a disadvantage but if a railway were to be built this difficulty would be overcome.

Dere Street


Ashkirk
OSA
Coal is brought 30 miles from Lothian and England.

NSA
There is no market or post office. The nearest market towns are Selkirk and Hawick.
Two stone and one wooden bridge over the Ale in good condition although the one on the Edinburgh road is too narrow. The parish roads are poorly kept despite their cost.
Peat and coal used as fuel although coal is expensive as it has to be brought 30 miles. A rail-road through the Carter Fell would solve this problem.

Bedrule
OSA
The Edinburgh to London road passes through. There is also the Berwick to Carlisle road which is very beautiful. It goes through Coldstream, Kelso, Hawick, Langholm, Longtown and then Carlisle. A branch to Jedburgh has been made recently and this passes through the parish.
The mail coach runs three times a week.
Statute Labour has been commuted.
There is a bridge over the Rule near Spittal on the Berwick to Carlisle road and another on the Hawick by Bedrule to Jedburgh road.
Markets are in Hawick and Jedburgh.
There is a bad road from Spittal bridge southwards - people travel to Reid in Northumberland for coal and to Windburgh on the borders of Liddesdale for lime. The Bedrule to Jedburgh road is also bad but will hopefully be improved in the near future.

NSA
No particular mention of roads. Lime is brought from Northumberland or Liddesdale.

Bowden
OSA; also Roman road
Coal and lime is brought about 30 miles from Lothian. Roads reasonably looked after by the Justices.
Statute labour conversion used to be1/6 per man and 2/- per horse annually. This has been amended by Act of Parliament to base it on valued rents and is paid by the possessors. Trustees are the JP’s, Commissioners of Supply and some others. The rate has been set at 10/-Sterling per 100 L Scots but this can be lowered when the roads improve sufficiently.
The remains of a military road (Roman) run through the parish. Some of it has been destroyed by the plough, in other spots there is a 20 foot wide ditch and in some places 2 ditches of that width.

NSA; see also
In the last 12 or 15 years the roads have greatly improved with the old ones being repaired and new ones constructed. In all there are about 18 ˝ miles of road, 3 ˝ of which is a turnpike, completed about 10 years ago. It runs between Kelso, St Boswell's Green and Selkirk. The parish roads are paid for by the statute labour conversion - the main road of this type may be made a turnpike which will reduce the burden on the parish. There are no toll bars; lime is 24 miles away and very expensive.
Coaches run each day on the Selkirk road to Carlisle, and the Melrose road to Newcastle.
There are weekly markets at Selkirk and Melrose and other towns. There are carriers to Edinburgh and local towns. Coal is brought from Mid-Lothian.

Castletown
OSA

Newcastleton

An 86 year old man rode 50 miles to market in one day and returned the next day without sleeping. There is an 80 year old who frequently walks to Edinburgh. Some farmers buy quantities of black cattle from Falkirk, Crieff and Down.
150 carts in parish.
There are 5 chapels as well as the parish church. These are: Wheel church at the head of Liddel; Hermitage, which is still in use; Dinlabyre; Ettleton, still in use and Chapel-know near Canonby.
The statute labour has long been commuted though the amount raised is insufficient for such a large parish. Consequently there have been no roads to speak of until recently. Along the valley of the Liddel the road was in the river rather than on its banks, the only road being the Watergate which requires 24 crossings. It was the same with the Hermitage.
A road has now been started along the Liddel and several miles have been completed. It is very difficult to reach Hawick and Langholm. Everything is on horseback and one often has to crawl through deep bogs. There were no bridges.
A bridge has now been built over Hermitage (1792) and last year another over the Liddel. These, and the new stretch of road, are of great help to those going north and into Berwickshire as the journey is shorter than that by Langholm and Mosspaul.
Some coal in south of parish; in addition, carriers returning from Hawick bring a cartload.
South of Newcastleton there is an excellent road to Carlisle going through Canonby. A curious feature is a natural bridge of stone to be found on the river Blackburn. At Milnholm there is an ancient cross with incriptions.
Some people are 8 or 10 miles from the church.

NSA

Looking towards the Note o' the Gate The Liddell Water near Hudshouse Rig. Inglis suggested the Wheel Causeway ran through here

There are two annual sheep fairs and a weekly market which started two years ago. Some black cattle are bought at Falkirk and Doune.
There are good roads to Jedburgh, Hawick, Langholm and Carlisle. Two new roads have recently been made, one to Bew Castle and another to Northumberland. There are no public carriages. Peat and coal are used as fuel. The coal comes either from Northumberland or Canonby.

Cavers
OSA
No mention of roads.

NSA
Ruberslaw, a prominent hill in the parishNearest market town is Hawick. The turnpike from Edinburgh to Carlisle enters the parish at Tein-side bridge and runs through the parish for 7 miles. There are regular daily coaches as well as the mail coach. Another turnpike leads from Hawick to Jedburgh, Kelso etc and one runs into England by Note O'the Gate and Carter Fell. Many country roads. There is a penny-post at Denholm and Caerlanrig Chapel.
Many bridges both of stone and wood. Some of the inns are useful to travellers. Coal expensive because of the distance but it may become cheaper now that the Duke of Buccleuch has taken over management of his mines in Canonby.

Crailing
OSA
Lime is obtained from Northumberland.
There are 48 carts in the parish.
A turnpike runs on the south side of the Teviot between Hawick and Kelso. Other roads are statute labour.
There is a bridge over the Oxnam built by subscription 20 years ago. The nearest bridge over the Teviot is at Ancrum. There is a boat and no charge is made on Sundays for those going to church.
Coal comes from Etal in Glendale and Ryechester on Reid Water in Northumberland.
A Roman road runs nearby.

NSA
Lime comes 30 miles from Etal. Coal also from Northumberland.
The Edinburgh to Carlisle road runs through. In 1833, a ford over the Oxnam was replaced by a bridge. There was an old bridge but it required a detour and so was used only when the river was in flood.
There are markets at Jedburgh and Kelso. A stage coach runs twice a week between Hawick and Kelso with a post-gig between Kelso and Jedburgh and a weekly carrier to Edinburgh. A bridge over the Teviot is needed.

Eckford
OSA
There is a ford over the Teviot; the name Eckford may come from the Gaelic and mean "horse-ford".
The Carlisle to Berwick turnpike runs through the parish. The statute labour rate is 7/6 per 100 L Scots.
There is an old bridge over the Kail at the Mill of Beckford - its parapets have gone. It is thought to have been financed from vacant stipends about the Revolution. There is another bridge over the Kail on the turnpike.
There is talk of a canal being built from Berwick as far as Ancrum Bridge.

NSA
The nearest market towns are Jedburgh and Kelso. The Hawick to Kelso turnpike runs through part of the parish on which there is a coach twice a week - this also goes to Jedburgh. The post comes twice a day.
There is a bridge on the turnpike which crosses the Kale near the Teviot; and another over the Teviot near Eckford Mill built in the late 17th century out of church funds. There is also a chain bridge over the Teviot near to the Kale - a pontage is charged.
Coal comes from 20 miles away.

Ednam
OSA
Burnt limestone is brought in from Northumberland, 17 miles away; also coal. The roads are very bad.
An act has now been obtained for turnpikes to be built near Kelso and this will give three new roads running through the parish.

NSA
Kelso is the market and post town. There are two stone and two wooden bridges, in good condition. Three turnpikes run through the parish. Coal comes from Northumberland.

Hawick

Hawick

OSA
About 60 carts, 50 of which are held by farmers and carters.Weekly market and four fairs. In addition, a tryst has recently been established for the sale of black cattle etc. It is held in October between the time of the Falkirk Tryst and Newcastle Fair.
The town has extensive trade throughout the country. A local plant nursery sends items as far as Yorkshire or North Wales. Some trade in eggs, collecting these from farms and taking them to Berwick; others again, collect sheepskins for sale.

 

NSA; see also old bridge (page 393)
Link to image and text on GooglebooksAn ancient bridge (Canmore reference) leads from the High Street to the parish church.
Hawick is a market town. Before the post office 70 or 80 years ago, letters were brought from Jedburgh once a month by a hawker.
There are 8 ˝ miles of turnpike and 25 miles of parish roads. They have much improved in recent years especially near the town.
A new bridge over the Teviot now avoids Wilton where there was a steep and narrow road. A new road west of the town also avoids a formerly steep approach to the town.


Bridge over Teviot in HawickThere are frequent carriers and four mail coaches to Edinburgh and London by Carlisle. A coach goes to Edinburgh three times a week and one to Jedburgh and Kelso twice a week.
There are three stone bridges over the Slitridge and five over the Teviot. Large fairs and markets are held in the town. Coal comes from Etal and from near Langholm.
Note: The Auld Brig is said to have been built in the 13th century. It was demolished in 1851 to make way for a mill.

 

Hobkirk
OSA
There are 70 carts, 3 single-horse chaisses and a post-chaise.
The turnpike from Edinburgh to Newcastle runs through and people generally are in favour of the public roads.

NSA
The nearest market towns are Hawick and Jedburgh. Post comes from Jedburgh and from Bonchester Bridge, serviced from Hawick.The Hawick to Newcastle turnpike runs through here for 3 ˝ miles and the Jedburgh to Castleton turnpike for about 10 miles. There are 20 miles of statute labour roads in fairly good condition and 3 stone bridges and some wooden ones over the Rule. There are other bridges across small streams. Licensing toll keepers to sell spirits has had bad effects.
Coal comes from Northumberland, 20 miles away. If a road was built into Tynehead it would reduce the cost of coal and lime but the idea has been opposed.

Hounam
OSA; see also
Mention is made of the Roman road.
Coal is brought in from Etal, 20 miles away, and on horseback from Birdhopecraig - both these places are in Northumberland.
Wool buyers travel through the countryside on their trade.
A canal is proposed from Berwick to Kelso and perhaps as far as Ancrum Bridge, which would make it 30 miles long. The roads here are not made but rather "natural" although the hilly ground and dry gravely soil means they are good both in winter and summer with a few exceptions.
The statute labour is commuted and ranges from 2/6 to 7/- on 100 L Scots.
New roads are to be made and the old ones will be kept in good repair. Turnpikes are thought to be of great importance to the country.

NSA
Poultry and eggs are collected by traders and sold in market towns. There is no post office but letters, newspapers are parcels are delivered here. The nearest market town is Jedburgh to which a carrier goes each week. The main market and post town is Kelso, with regular carriers.
There are 13 miles of good statute labour roads and some district roads, with sufficient bridges in a fairly reasonable condition. A major market called the Pennymuir Tryst is held nearby. A Roman road divides Hounam from Oxnam.
Coal is brought from Etal, 20 miles away. There is a partly made road to lime and coal at Birdhopecraig. If completed it would be a great benefit.
Whisky is smuggled into England.
The Roman road has been traced as far as Boroughbridge in Yorkshire. It is called the "Street" and runs towards St Boswell's and the Lothians.

Jedburgh

Jedburgh Abbey Cloister Walk, Jedburgh

OSA
The nearest coal is at Rychester, 20 miles away. Some coal is brought from Dalkieth on returning from taking grain to the market there.
Improved roads would be a great benefit.
The Edinburgh to Newcastle turnpike shortens the distance. One proposed from Jedburgh to Boroughbridge would be shorter than the journey to London via Berwick by 38 miles.

NSA
Post office in the town. There are 18 miles of turnpike. Coaches run each day to Edinburgh and Newcastle and twice a week to Hawick and Kelso. Carriers travel to Edinburgh, Newcastle and Berwick. There are 10 stone bridges over the Jed.
Four annual fairs for horses and cattle are held, as well as two hiring markets and monthly markets. There is a major sheep fair at Rink.
Licensing toll keepers to sell drink has bad effects.
It would be ideal if this, the most direct way to London, could be adopted as the mail route, but this has been opposed.

Kelso
OSA; bridge

Kelso Abbey

There is a bridge (Canmore reference) of 6 arches built in 1756 by subscription and funds from the parish. Under a recent Act it is proposed to build a bridge over the Teviot, near the confluence with the Tweed which will improve travel to the west.
Maisondieu (Canmore reference - 2 miles south-west of Kelso) was an "asylum for pilgrims, the diseased and the indigent". It dates from the 1200's.
There are three carriers and 40 carters.
There is a weekly market with 12 high markets in the year. In the March market horses are bought for summer work such as driving coal and lime and sold again before winter to save the cost of fodder.
It would be sensible if fairs from north to south were to succeed one another so that animals could be sold on as they journeyed south to London.
Shoes are sold in the markets and at Northumberland fairs.
As the churchyard is unenclosed a number of roads pass through it - skins have been hung out to dry there and swine root amongst the graves.

NSA; also bridge (page 320)

Kelso

There is a fine bridge (Canmore reference) which opened in 1803 and replaces a bridge of 1754 swept away in floods. In early times there was a bridge at Roxburgh which was often destroyed and rebuilt during border wars.
A daily post is delivered from Hawick through which the mail coach runs. There are 12 miles of turnpike, the main one being a branch of the Edinburgh to Newcastle and London road. Stage coaches run each day to Edinburgh, thrice weekly to Berwick, Jedburgh and Hawick and daily from Edinburgh to Newcastle. There are 45 carriers and a good number of bridges.
Although a rail road to Berwick has been approved by Act of Parliament for the last 20 years, nothing has been done.
Coal from Northumberland is sold each day in the square called the coal market.

Kirktoun
Parish map (Stobie's map of 1770: see north-west and south-west sheets)

OSA
The Edinburgh to Newcastle road via Selkirk and Hawick passes through. This makes access to the Northumberland coal mines easy
.
NSA
Hawick is the post amd market town. The Hawick to Newcastle and Liddesdale coach passes through.

Lessudden (St Boswells)
OSA; also fuel
Lime is brought from Lothian or England. It takes from 6 to 9 cartloads to treat an acre. The turnpike passes through.
St Boswell’s Fair in July is very large. Sheep, cattle and cloth are sold.

NSA
Lime is very expensive due to the distance from the source.
There is a daily coach from Edinburgh to Newcastle and one every two days from Jedburgh to Edinburgh. Frequent coaches and carriers to Newcastle, Edinburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso and a carrier to Selkirk. There are short lengths of one or two miles of turnpike road, viz. the Jedburgh, Kelso and Selkirk roads. There are four good bridges.
A very large fair is held here. Coal is brought from Dalkeith and Northumberland.

Lilliesleaf

Lilliesleaf
OSA
The roads are bad but it is intended to repair them as the statute labour money will be rigorously exacted.
Coal obtained from 30 miles away.

NSA
The nearest markets are Selkirk and St Boswell's. Post comes from Selkirk. There are no turnpikes but the roads are good - the statute labour is commuted. Coal comes from Lothians and Northumberland, each about 30 miles away.



Linton
OSA
There is a place called the Tryst where raiders used to meet at a stone circle.

NSA
The market and post town is Kelso with which there are regular communications but Jedburgh is occasionally used. Grain is taken to Berwick and coal and lime brought back on the return journey. Animals are taken to Edinburgh and Morpeth. The roads are mostly good.
At Frogden is the site of the "Tryst" where raiders would assemble before foraging into Northumberland.
One of the main routes into Scotland at the time of border unrest lay through the parish and there is evidence that a pass between two hills near Linton Loch was well guarded.

Makerstoun
OSA
There are 60 horses used for ploughing, drawing carts and riding.
One chaise and two wagons in the parish.
Coal and lime from Northumberland or Mid-Lothian, over 20 miles away.
A reasonably good turnpike runs through the parish.

NSA
A turnpike from Kelso to Edinburgh via Smailholm runs through the parish - there is a daily coach.
Ford at Rutherford. There was an old hospital for the sick and to assist travellers.

Maxton
OSA
A Roman road runs through the parish.

NSA
A Roman road runs along the western boundary of the parish. It crosses the Teviot near the confluence with Jed Water, and over the Tweed at Melrose.
Market towns are Jedburgh, Kelso and Melrose. The Kelso to Melrose turnpike crosses the parish as well as the Edinburgh to London via Jedburgh road. There are some reasonably good crossroads.
The Edinburgh/London coach passes daily. Another coach runs three times a week between Edinburgh and Jedburgh. There is also a coach to Glasgow by Melrose and Peebles.
The Kelso turnpike was made in 1794.
Produce has to be taken long distances, e.g. to Morpeth, Edinburgh, Dalkeith and Berwick. Coal comes from Northumberland.

Melrose
OSA
The writer refers to the impressive remains of the Roman road south-west of the Eildons noting that in places it is carried through lakes and marshes. It is linked to the camp at Coldshiels and another camp on the north side of the Tweed called the Rink.

NSA
Melrose AbbeyA Culdee monastery was established at Old Melrose by monks from Iona in the 7th century.
An ancient churchway leads along Gattonside Haugh to Melrose Abbey. As the Tweed has changed its course, it now crosses this path.
Near Newstead, where the old course of the river is now dry land, there was a ferry which had been used by Claverhouse. It is still called "the Wheel".
In a history of the parish of Melrose, the author mistakes an old boundary between lands of Kelso and Melrose abbeys for a Roman road.
The monastery of Old Melrose was destroyed by Kenneth II in 839 when the Saxons were overcome. It was then settled by a small party of monks from Girwy (Jarrow, near Newcastle) but declined into a chapel dedicated to St Cuthbert. A roadway led to it called the Girthgate, which may be from either Girwy or Girth (sanctuary). This road can be traced over the moors (see Channelkirk parish).
There is a tradition that another abbey was built, perhaps at Newstead, between the old and new abbeys.
Milne in his history of Melrose says that there was a pre-existing village called Little Fordle which may indicate a ford over a brook at the east of the village. There was a neighbouring ford of the Tweed.
There is a placename "Monk's Ford".
Milne mentions a tradition that a tumulus on the side of the Eildons called the Bourjo was a pagan altar. The road leading to it is called the Haxalgate and approaches through a ravine called Haxalgate-heugh. He surmises that Haxa indicates a high priestess of the Druids.
Market town and post office with links to nearby places. Good statute labour and parish roads and two turnpikes. One turnpike along the Gala Water runs through the parish for 12 miles and the other along the Leader Water for 9 miles. Coaches on the first road now travel at 7 or 8 miles per hour - in the past, "the famous old fly, with its venerable pair" would take 12 -16 hours from Jedburgh to Edinburgh.
Link to original and text on Google Books - page 153There are two bridges and a suspension bridge. There used to be a very old bridge (Canmore reference) where pontage was collected, the collector living on the bridge and having drawbridges at either end.
There are three fairs which serve as cattle and sheep markets. Coal comes from Northumberland.

 

Note: The following books by Bower and by Wade give some more historical details of Melrose. Wade's book contains the text of Milne's History of Melrose. The Bourjo is thought to be a quarry used in the building of Melrose Abbey; presumably the Haxalgate was the track used for moving the stone - see RCAHMS NT53 SW 33. Hardie in Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale suggests Bourjo is a corruption of broch or borg (p.14). Sir Walter Scott in Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft (p.94) has interesting remarks on Haxalgate, a name with connotations of witchcraft, cf. hex.

Minto
OSA
Minto HillsThere are many public roads. The statute labour funds are very small and not adequate for their purpose. The main roads are very good as Sir Gilbert Elliot has kept up the roads leading through his lands at his own expense - this has freed up the statute labour funds for roads elsewhere in the parish.
Coal from 30 miles away.

NSA
There are 14 miles of much improved parish roads. The annual assessment raises L80-L100 Sterling. Coal is expensive because of the distance. There are no ale houses or tolls in the parish.

Morebattle
OSA
Mention is made of tryst stones.
The roads, none of which are turnpikes, are poor and often impassable.
There are two small public houses.

NSA
Although there is a turnpike leading to the Kelso to Jedburgh road, no stage coach runs here. There are carriers to Kelso, the market town, three times a week. Parish roads are good. An offer to set up a "side-post" here was turned down as it was cheaper to keep the existing system where carriers or others would collect the mail at little or no cost. There are no fairs or markets. Coal is 18 miles distant.

Oxnam
OSA; also map
Place called Mossburnford just north of Old Jedburgh where the Jed can be crossed (first page of account).
Lime brought from Tillside to the east and Redwater to the south.
Cheese, butter and veal sold in Jedburgh. Eggs and poultry taken to Berwick and some poultry to Edinburgh. Goods are brought back on the return journey.
Carts have replaced wains which were clumsy carriages drawn by oxen or horses.

Dere Street and Woden Law
Looking from Pennymuir over to Towford and Woden Law. Dere Street ascends the col to the left of Woden Law. Click for larger image.

A Roman causeway forms the eastern boundary of the parish.
Until recently the statute labour for county roads from 20 to 22 feet in width was raised from the number of men and horses, at 1/- a man and 1/6 a horse. An Act of Parliament has changed this to a rate on valued rents at no more than 10/- per 100 L Scots.
There are four districts in the county: Jedburgh, Kelso, Hawick and Melrose. In each there is a constable who inspects the roads and arrests vagrants. Not all the money is collected by the constables but in Jedburgh district it has been found necessary as there are fewer roads here.
A road is being built from Woodenburn Bridge in Crailing parish to Kaimburnfoot in Oxnam which will link the Kelso to Hawick road and the Edinburgh to Newcastle road which passes through Jedburgh. To make sure it is completed more quickly a loan has been taken out which will be repaid from the statute labour money. Other roads are improving.
Coal used to be brought from Ryechester and Ital on horseback - now it is carried on carts.

NSA

Dere Street
Dere Street just north of the Pennymuir camps. In this locality the road forms the boundary between Oxnam and Hownam parishes. Click for larger image.

There are 30 miles of road in good condition and 3 recently built stone bridges. The statute labour conversion is usually L1 per 100 pounds Scots.

The main market town is Jedburgh from where there are regular coaches to Edinburgh and Newcastle. Ten individuals with horses, carts or donkeys travel round the area with bread, groceries and other goods.

Gypsies travel in the area, especially in summer. They use the Roman road to camp as they are less likely to draw attention to themselves. They sell home-made goods such as wicker baskets and earthenware.

There are two fairs at Pennymuir for sheep and lambs, and a tryst for hiring shepherds.

Coal comes mostly from Tarretburn in Northumberland, 22 miles away.

Roberton
OSA

near Roberton
Near Roberton

Although peat is as expensive as coal which would have to be obtained from Lothian or Northumberland, 30 miles away, it is the preferred fuel as farm workers can be used to gather it in when they are not otherwise employed. Some living near mosses make a business of carting it to Hawick up to 14 miles away.
The main road of the parish is up the valley of the Borthwick but it only runs half-way up the parish and has not been started in the adjacent parish of Wilton. The road is fully made on the Dumfriesshire side by the gentlemen there and it is regrettable that the same has not be done in this county. The road is the most direct from Dumfries to Hawick and Selkirk.
Roberton's heritors are making their part of this road but at great expense. The road money for the Roxburghshire part of the parish is set at 7/- to 10/- on 100 L Scots of valued rent; the Selkirkshire part of the parish is assessed under the statute labour.

NSA
Hawick is the nearest market town - there are daily carriers. Twenty miles of turnpike road. Peat and coal is used for fuel - peat is abundant and cheaper than coal.

Roxburgh
OSA; also ford
Coal is obtained from some distance - there is no other fuel.
The two main roads are a great convenience - these are the Berwick to Carlisle and the Kelso to Melrose roads.
The high road through Roxburgh is extremely rough being in a natural state and is almost impassable. As they are building a bridge over the Teviot which leads on to this road and so to a well-inhabited area, they may decide to improve the road. The bridge will be a great benefit - those to the east suffer from the "accidental magnitude of the rivers."
There is a boat at Roxburgh for use by all and also for going to the kirk. Flooding can affect attendance at the church and also at the school. There is an old ford on the Tweed consisting of a rocky stratum with four gaps which could be stepped across. Sir Henry Macdougall had the middle rock blown up as the ford could be dangerous.
A Roman road passes on the west of the parish. As it is thought to be the shortest way into England it is much used by drovers.

NSA
A Roman road runs through the south-west corner of the parish and was used for droving until recent times.
The nearest markets are Kelso and Jedburgh. The Kelso to Jedburgh road runs along the south side of the Teviot for 3 miles and the Kelso to Melrose road for about 4 miles. The Teviot Bridge is on this road and leads into Kelso parish. Ferry over the Teviot in Roxburgh.
Coal comes from Northumberland. Grain is taken to Berwick but carriage costs are high. There is a need for the proposed railway which would run from Berwick to this area.

Smallholm (Smailholm)
OSA
Public roads run south to north through the parish. They were made by Act of Parliament and are supported by tolls.
Statute labour commuted.

NSA
The roads trustees have access to a hard whinstone in the south of the parish for repair of the roads. "Rotten rock" is used for parish and farm roads.
The nearest market town is Kelso with a weekly carrier.
Three miles of turnpike runs north to south through the parish and there is a branch westwards to Drygrange Bridge on the Jedburgh road. The Kelso to Edinburgh coach passes daily in each direction.
A carrier from Earlston collects eggs, butter etc on a Monday afternoon and takes it to Edinburgh. Coal is brought from Lothian and Northumberland.

Southdean
OSA
Coal is brought from Ryechester in Northumberland, some 15 miles away.
Stones have been taken from cairns and tumuli for the building of the turnpikes.
Droving is a problem with cattle and sheep "infesting and overspreading the best pasture ground." This has led to numerous disputes between farmers and drovers but despite regulations and boundaries being fixed the trespassing has continued. The Newcastle road through Carter Bar has branches through this parish to Jedburgh and Hawick and gives easy access to coal and lime at Ryechester as well as restoring the farmer to the "free and peaceable possession of his lands."

NSA
The nearest post town, Jedburgh, is 10 miles away although the improved roads do not make this a great disadvantage. The Hawick to Newcastle and the Jedburgh to Newcastle roads that run through the parish are a great benefit. The road from the Carter Bar is very picturesque. There is an alehouse at the Carter toll-bar. Coal comes from 15 miles away.

Sprouston
OSA; also Wark Common
There are proposals for a canal.
Fish sent to Berwick and then London.
The roads are bad, probably because the statute labour has been commuted. Turnpikes are generally approved of.
There was a dispute about 50 years ago between local farmers and farmers over the border about grazing rights on Wark Common which led to fighting.
The writer says that when he first came to Sprouston there were no carts; now every farmer has one.
There is a ferry.

NSA
The nearest market town is Kelso. There are turnpikes by Sprouston and Carham to Cornhill, and by Hadden-rig to Wooler. Parish roads are good and some have been greatly improved. They are funded by the statute labour conversion money.

United Parishes of Stitchel and Hume
OSA
Mention of a tradition that the wife of James II left Hume Castle to take the road to Roxburgh to see her husband who was beseiging the castle when she was met about half a mile east of Stitchel House with news of her husband's death. (This was in 1460)
Coal is obtained from England, some 20 miles distant.

NSA
Reiterates the story of James II's wife.

Wilton
Parish map (Stobie's map of 1770: see north-west sheet)

OSA
No references to roads - there are problems obtaining fuel.

NSA
There is a post office at Hawick. A fine new bridge over the Teviot leads into the town. Fuel comes from Red Water in Northumberland 30 miles away, and also from Berwickshire.

Yetholm
OSA
No mention of roads - there are 50 tinkers and gypsies in the parish.

NSA

Kirk Yetholm View of Kirk Yetholm

The name is derived from yet or gate, meaning gate or road.
Lime comes from 10 miles away and bone dust from Berwick, 20 miles away.
The gypsies here make home-made pottery, besoms and baskets which they carry round the countryside for sale. They travel in a cart and sleep in tents in secluded places. Each family usually has a particular district. In late summer they return for harvest work and then set set off again on their travels to return at the onset of winter.
The proximity to the border leads to whisky smuggling. This used to be considerable but stringent measures are now in place to prevent it.
Cows are bought in Northumberland and taken to Edinburgh.
There used to be a market in Town Yetholm. Now the nearest markets are at Kelso, Coldstream and Berwick.
There are no coaches or post office. Carriers run to Kelso on weekdays and occasionally to Coldstream and Berwick.
There are four miles of turnpike in the parish in good repair with two toll houses let annually, most recently for L180. They are under the Kelso District. These roads go to Kelso, Coldstream, Berwick, Wooler, Jedburgh and to the coal and lime areas. There are 5 miles of statute labour roads. A bridge over the Bowmont between Kirk and Town Yetholm was built last year and is a great benefit.
There are two annual fairs in both villages. Travellers can find accomodation in inns.

 

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Interesting Points

Ancrum
A Roman road runs east of the Edinburgh road.

Bowden
The remains of a military road (Roman) run through the parish.

Castletown
An 86 year old man rode 50 miles to market in one day and returned the next day without sleeping. There is an 80 year old who frequently walks to Edinburgh. There have been no roads to speak of until recently. Along the valley of the Liddel the road was in the river rather than on its banks. It is very
difficult to reach Hawick and Langholm. Everything is on horseback and one often has to crawl through deep bogs.

Crailing
There is a boat and no charge is made on Sundays for those going to church. A Roman road runs nearby.

Eckford
There is a ford over the Teviot; the name Eckford may come from the Gaelic and mean "horse-ford". There is an old bridge over the Kail at the Mill of Beckford - its parapets have gone. It is thought to have been financed from vacant stipends about the Revolution.

Hawick
An ancient bridge leads from the High Street to the parish church.

Hounam
Wool buyers travel through the countryside on their trade. A canal is proposed from Berwick to Kelso and perhaps as far as Ancrum Bridge, which would make it 30 miles long. Poultry and eggs are collected by traders and sold in market towns. A Roman road divides Hounam from Oxnam. It is called the "Street" and runs towards St Boswell's and the Lothians. Whisky is smuggled into England.

Kelso
Maisondieu (2 miles south-west of Kelso) was an "asylum for pilgrims, the diseased and the indigent". It dates from the 1200's. It would be sensible if fairs from north to south were to succeed one another so that animals could be sold on as they journeyed south to London. Shoes are sold in the markets and at Northumberland fairs. As the churchyard is unenclosed a number of roads pass through it - skins have been hung out to dry there and swine root amongst the graves. In early times there was a bridge at Roxburgh which was often destroyed and rebuilt during border wars.

Makerstoun
There was an old hospital for the sick and to assist travellers.

Maxton
A Roman road runs along the western boundary of the parish. It crosses the Teviot near the confluence with Jed Water, and over the Tweed at Melrose.

Melrose
Numerous details - Romans, the Girthgate, Old Melrose, Monk’s Ford, the Bourjo, Haxalgate etc.

Oxnam
Carts have replaced wains which were clumsy carriages drawn by oxen or horses. A Roman causeway forms the eastern boundary of the parish. Gypsies travel in the area, especially in summer. They use the Roman road to camp as they are less likely to draw attention to themselves. They sell home-made goods such as wicker baskets and earthenware.

Roxburgh
The high road through Roxburgh is in a natural state and is almost impassable. A proposed bridge here will be useful as those to the east suffer from the "accidental magnitude of the rivers." There is a boat at Roxburgh for use by all and also for going to the kirk. There is an old ford on the Tweed consisting of a rocky stratum with four gaps which could be stepped across. The middle rock was blown up as the ford could be dangerous. A Roman road passes on the west of the parish and is much used by drovers.

Southdean
Stones have been taken from cairns and tumuli for the building of the turnpikes. Droving is a problem with cattle and sheep "infesting and overspreading the best pasture ground." This has led to numerous disputes between farmers and drovers but despite regulations and boundaries being fixed the trespassing has continued.

Sprouston
There was a dispute about 50 years ago between local farmers and farmers over the border about grazing rights on Wark Common which led to fighting. There is a ferry.

Stitchel and Hume
It is said that the wife of James II left Hume Castle to take the road to Roxburgh to see her husband who was beseiging the castle when she was met about half a mile east of Stitchel House with news of her husband's death. (This was in 1460)

Yetholm
The gypsies here make home-made pottery, besoms and baskets which they carry round the countryside for sale. They travel in a cart and sleep in tents in secluded places. Each family usually has a particular district. In late summer they return for harvest work and then set set off again on their travels to return at the onset of winter. Strict measures are now in place against whisky smuggling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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