River Crossings - None
The placename Sandyfurd confirms
that the Roman road from Annandale up to the fort at
Raeburnfoot and from there over Craik Cross Moor towards
Newstead was still in use in the 1600's as it had been
in mediaeval times as a Royal road between Roxburgh
and Annandale. Stankgate is useful as an indication
that a road ran up Eskdale at this time though whether
it related to mediaeval settlements at Staplegordon
and Westerkirk or to a Roman road from Netherby is unclear.
Yetbyres may just be a local name though it is located
near the important Castle O'er site.
A route may have ran from Annan to Hawick by Langholm
(see Pont Texts below).
Map based on quarter-inch OS map, published
With thanks to Ordnance Survey.
A number of texts written by or derived from Pont gives
distances between towns. It is very likely that these
relate to routes because the distances must have been
measured and there would be little point in knowing
the mileage unless people were travelling between these
places. In some cases he refers directly to "the
way to" or gives a list of intermediate places
as if they were on a route. He also shows river crossings
that must have been used for journeys. There is in any
case evidence from other sources that there were routes
at this time. The texts can be viewed on the NLS Pont
Website and are also in MacFarlane's Geographical
So far as this map goes, the following entries may
indicate a route through this area:
- Annand Toun and Hermitage Castle
in Liddisdail 24 m.
- Annand and Haik in Teviot dail 28
- Annand and Jedburg 36.
It is unclear however if the Hawick route went through
Langholm or up Liddesdale past Hermitage. The distance
given between Hawick and Jedburgh is 8 miles (28 + 8
= 36 miles) which suggest the Annan to Jedburgh route
went through Hawick although a more direct Jedburgh
route by Note O'The Gate was available at this time.
near Castle Ower
Although marked on some older maps it is hard to say
if it was located at present day Castle O’er Farm or
300-400 metres to the south, NY 249 921 approx.
No road is shown on early maps. Although near to Castle
O’er which has significant earthworks and was well populated
in Roman times it is impossible to say if there is any
connection. The name itself could suggest a road to
cattle sheds perhaps belonging to a mediaeval settlement
|Views near Sandyford
- the Craik Cross Roman road passed through here
Sandyford, 3 miles NE of Boreland on B723 road to Eskdalemuir,
NY 205 937
Although this ford was on the line of a Roman road from
Annandale to Raeburnfoot the name itself must refer
to its use in later times when it seems to have been
a well-used ford with up to five crossing points having
been identified (Wilson, Roman Penetration in E Dumfriesshire
and Beyond, TDGNHAS, Vol.XXXIII, p.42) . If the Royal
Road between Roxburgh and Annandale mentioned by R P
Hardie in Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale (Oliver & Boyd,
Edinburgh, 1942) was a later use of this Roman road
it must have crossed at Sandyford. A possible later
use is by farmers from Ettrick and Yarrow parishes who
are said in the Statistical Accounts to have taken their
sheep down to Annandale in the winter months and perhaps
generally to access markets in that area.
On north side of River Esk, 3 miles NNW of Langholm,
NY 330 888 approx.
One meaning of "stank" was a stretch of swampy ground
of the Scots Language) so the name may imply a causeway
over such terrain. Wilson (op.cit. p.22) notes that
there were important mediaeval settlements at Staplegordon
and Westerkirk, both of which are near this location
so one possibility is that the name dates from this
time. Another more speculative possibility is that Stankgate
should read Stanegate which would tie in with the course
of a possible Roman road in this area up to the fort
at Raeburnsfoot which Wilson discusses in his paper.