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The nearest market town is 15 miles away. Roads are
The only road similar to a turnpike is to Selkirk but
it is very bad in places. It takes four hours to ride
the 16 miles to Selkirk.
When snow threatens to cut off the district the farmers
have to take their flocks to Annandale where they keep
them through the winter.
The lack of bridges leads to many delays or long detours.
Coal is brought from 30 miles away.
There are 20 carts in the parish but no carriages or
There are old chapels at Buccleuch, close to the
Rankle Burn, Kirkhope and Chapelhope. At the latter,
"muggers" buried one of their dead.
The nearest market town is Moffat, 16 miles away, but
Hawick and Selkirk which are 18 miles away are the main
markets for the parish.There is a post office in Selkirk
with a twice weekly service by carrier. During the summer
mail is also brought from Hawick, Edinburgh and Galashiels.
Thirty miles of road are suitable for carriages. Much
of the improvement is due to Lord Napier.
A reference to the parish in 1707 mentions the road
to the county town being "little better than the
channel of the river."
There are four fairs each year.
A new inn has been built near Tushielaw.
Peat is the usual fuel; although coal would be preferred
but for its expense.
The start at building the long contemplated road across
the Moorfoots will greatly help in obtaining coal and
An old man of 80 remembers when there were no carts
in the parish and peat and manure were carried on horseback.
Now there are about 36 carts.
Grain, except wheat taken to Edinburgh, Dalkeith and
Peebles. Of the 109 horses in the parish, 92 are used
in draught including ploughing and drawing carts. Some
are used as saddle horses. There are 64 single horse
carts, mostly used for carrying coal, manure, grain
The distance from coal and lime is a disadvantage. They
are brought from Middleton, 21 miles from the town.
The lack of a post office is also a disadvantage. The
nearest are at Stagehall, Selkirk and Melrose. Stagehall
is the more convenient as it is on the road to Middleton
where coal and lime is collected.
The remains of a Roman road are visible.
Two new bridges have been built over the Tweed and Ettrick
on the road to Selkirk. The journey is now two miles
shorter and much safer as a number of people had drowned
fording the rivers. In particular, a ferry boat sank
about 100 years ago with great loss of life.
A chain, or suspension bridge, the first of its kind
in Britain and a wooden bridge have been built in the
The markets in Galashiels have fallen into disuse and
its fairs are poorly attended. The nearest markets are
now in Melrose and Selkirk. There is a post office.
The roads are excellent. The Edinburgh to Carlisle road
passes through the town and several coaches run to and
from Edinburgh each day. There are frequent carriers
to local towns.
Coal is carted from Middleton which is 24 miles away;
however a new depot in the town will make supply easier
There are 5 miles of turnpike and 14 miles of statute
A railway has been proposed but there is a delay in
starting it. Despite the excellence of the roads there
is no doubt a railway would be a great advantage.
Sheep are driven to Annandale in bad winters. The roads
are almost impassable.
Selkirk is a market town.
The roads are excellent and greatly improved in the
last 20 years.
Stage coaches pass through each day on the mail road
from Edinburgh to Carlisle. The road at present runs
along the north bank of the Ettrick and crosses half
a mile from the town; a new one is being built which
will run from Galashiels along the south of the river.
There is a bridge over the Ettrick and three over the
Coal is brought from mid-Lothian.
|This road ran from the B709
over to Tibbie Shiel's Inn at St Mary's Loch. It
appears on Ainslie's Selkirkshire map of 1773. Although
the poles remain, the sign has now disappeared.
Coal is brought 30 miles from Lothian. Because of the
expense, poorer people use peat and heather. Lime is
brought 18 miles. The roads are bad and it is only recently
that any attempt has ben made to improve them. Now there
is a road suitable for carriages that runs along the
Yarrow from Selkirk to Moffat and the west. Another
road follows the Etterick River to Etterick church but
both of these, especially the latter, still need improving.
The cross roads are in a state of nature and very deep
in places. The district is cut off when it snows. Bridges
are few and this leads to delays and long detours when
the rivers are high.
The distance from coal, lime, manure and markets is
a disadvantage to the parish. The nearest market town
is Selkirk which is 9 miles away.
The roads are excellent and paid for by the statute
labour conversion money.
Roads run along the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys with
two cross roads between them. Another road leads into
Tweedsdale. The total length is 37 miles.
|St Mary's Loch
A rough track leads over Minchmoor - this used to be
the mail road from the south. It is still used by troops
in their movements.
There are three bridges; one of these is old and badly
constructed and is being replaced.
There are three alehouses, of benefit to travellers.
In the past, sheep had to be moved to Annandale in bad
winters but provisions are now laid in. The roads are
much busier than in the past. Bread used to be brought
in by one person on foot but several carts now bring
it along the Yarrow valley. Newspapers etc are received
regularly in contrast to the time when one newspaper
alone would make its slow way up the valley through
the hands of many readers.
Some improvements to the roads and bridges could be
made to link to the Tweed and along the south banks
of the rivers.