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.
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
Coal is brought 30 miles from Lothian and England.
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
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.
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.
No particular mention of roads. Lime is brought from
Northumberland or Liddesdale.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
No mention of roads.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
see also old bridge (page 393)
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Wool buyers travel through the countryside on their
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.
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
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.
||Cloister Walk, Jedburgh
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
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
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.
(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
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.
also bridge (page 320)
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
Coal from Northumberland is sold each day in the square
called the coal market.
map (Stobie's map of 1770: see north-west and south-west
The Edinburgh to Newcastle road via Selkirk and Hawick
passes through. This makes access to the Northumberland
coal mines easy
Hawick is the post amd market town. The Hawick to Newcastle
and Liddesdale coach passes through.
Lessudden (St Boswells)
Lime is brought from Lothian or England. It takes from
6 to 9 cartloads to treat an acre. The turnpike passes
St Boswell’s Fair in July is very large. Sheep, cattle
and cloth are sold.
Lime is very expensive due to the distance from the
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
A very large fair is held here. Coal is brought from
Dalkeith and Northumberland.
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.
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
There is a place called the Tryst where raiders used
to meet at a stone circle.
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
There are 60 horses used for ploughing, drawing carts
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.
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.
A Roman road runs through the parish.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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.
Mention is made of tryst stones.
The roads, none of which are turnpikes, are poor and
There are two small public houses.
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.
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.
|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
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
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.
|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.
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.
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 is obtained from some distance - there is no other
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.
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
Public roads run south to north through the parish.
They were made by Act of Parliament and are supported
Statute labour commuted.
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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
United Parishes of Stitchel
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.
Reiterates the story of James II's wife.
map (Stobie's map of 1770: see north-west sheet)
No references to roads - there are problems obtaining
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
No mention of roads - there are 50 tinkers and gypsies
in the parish.
||View of Kirk Yetholm
The name is derived from yet or gate, meaning gate
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
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
There are two annual fairs in both villages. Travellers
can find accomodation in inns.