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HIS connty, which lies on the south-eastern border of Scotland, is bounded by Northumberland
on the east, Dumfries-shire on the south-west, by the county of Selkirk on the west, by Berwickshire
on the north, and by Northumberland and part of Cumberland on the south. The figure of the
county is extremely irregular : it measures from its extreme point on the south to that part which is
inserted between the counties of Berwick and Edinburgh, upwards of forty miles; and from east to>
west, near the centre, about thirty miles. The area of the shire has been variously estimated as
containing six hundred and seventy two, six hundred and ninety six, and seven hundred and twenty
square miles of land ; rather less than one-hah" is brought into cultivation. The county is divided by its
waters into several districts, of which the chief and largest is Tiviotdale, being that division drained by
the Tiviot and its tributary streams ; this district comprehends about 520 square miles. Liddisdale
which forms the south-west corner of the county, comprehends the alpine territory, which is drained by
the Liddle and its tributaries, and contain about 120 square miles. The third division lies between the
Gala and Leader streams, measuring 28 square miles; and the fourth, which is situate north of the
(Tweed, is included in ' the Merse,' and comprehends 27 miles.
Early History. — At the tune of the Christian epoch the western and greater part of Roxburghshire
was inhabited by the Gart'iiii, while the eastern and lesser districts were occupied by the Ottadinii, who
had numerous strong holds in the shire — ruins and traces of which are still visible ; the district is also
intersected by Roman roads in various directions, and the whole shire presents a field of the greatest
interest to the antiquary and the historian. There is auother class of antiquities (the memorials of after
ages) belonging to the county, worthy of notice, and inspection — these are towers or castles; among
them are the castle of Jedburgh, that of Roxburgh, Hermitage castle (in Liddisdale). and other similar
structures of minor nelebrity. The district was likewise famed for its religious edifices, which included
the abbeys of Jedburgh, Melrose, and Kelso. From its situation on the confines of the two kingdoms,
Roxburghshire suffered severely throughout the various border wars ; few were so distinguished in the
conflicts of the middle ages as the 'men of Tiviotdale,' many of whom followed David, in 1128, to
'the Battle of the Standard,' in which they fought by his side, and shared his misfortune. During
these fierce aggressions, the marches of the kingdom were at different periods contracted abd extended
.(this district being occasionally wholly or partly under English domination), till the year 1357, when
the borders were finally settled as thay theu happened to lie ; and by this arrangement Roxburghshire
was for ever attached to Scotland.
Surface, Soil, Produce, Manufactures, &c. — The southern parts of Roxburghshire are very
mouutaiuous, and throughout the whole territory there is littie land absolutely flat ; in massy instances,
however, the hilly grounds rise in beautiful swells from the rich vallies at their base : the aspect of
the country is thus finely diversified in respect to surface and elevation, while the be mty of the district
is greaily enhanced by the clear rivers and brooks poured through the different vales. The following
are the principal mountains and eminences, with their respective altitudes above the !evel of the sea:
—Cheviot, 2,682 feet ; Chill Hill, Vlilleowood Fells, and Wmdhead Fell, each 2,00(1 ; Tudhope Fell,
■ 1,830 ; Carter Fell, 1,602 ; Meggs Hills, 1,480; Ruberlaw, 1,-119 ; Eildon Hills, 1,330 ; Dunaian, 1,021 ;
Minto Hills, 858; and Minlo Craigs, 649. The soil of the county is various, and much of it exceedingly
fertile: in some parts a rich loam prevails — in others, gravel and clay, in various proportions; the heavy
clayey soil chiefly occupying the higher grounds, while the valued loam is generally found on low and
level tracts, near the beds of rivers and rivulets. In Liddisdale there is much mossy land; but for a
country so mountainous, the proportion of heath and moss is inconsiderable. It has been ascertained
that, so early as the twelfth century, the district produced great quantities of corn ; and the amount of
barley then ground at the mills exhibited the progress in the manufacture of grain. Under the intelligent
monks, the agriculture of the county is known to have arrived at considerable perfection; and it is a
matter of certaiuty that they introduced a knowledge of horticulture. In later times, Roxburghshire
has kept pace with the other counties ia those extraordinary improvements in the management of the
soil, and in the rearing of stock, for which Scotland in general is now distinguished. The mineralogy
of the shire is neither valuable or varied. Between the years 1760 and 1770, coal was discovered in the
hill called Carter Fell, in this county, near the border of Northumberland; but, though wrought for
some time, was ultimately abandoned as unprofitable ; another seam was subsequently found near the
south eastern point of Liddisdale, from which little benefit has been derived beyond that detached
district ; various attempts have been made to discover coal in different places in the county, but not one
of them was conducted on a scale adequate to the importance of the object; the inhabitants are still
supplied with this valuable fossil from Dumfries-shire, Lothian or Northumberland. The manufactures
ot Roxburghshire are not extensive : if a staple of the county may be particularised, it is that of articles
manufactured from wool, the seats of which are at Hawick,Jedburgh,and Kelso, where flannels, blankets,
»oollen cloth, iambs' wool yarn, and hosiery and some linen, are extensively manufactured. The county
contains many elegant mansions and beautiful seats: one of the most interesting of these is ' Abbotsford/
the seat of the late eminent novelist, Sir Walter Scott ; it is a fine Gothic castle, the internal and external
decorations of which, characterize it has having been the residence of the poet, the antiquary, and
the man of superior and refined taste : but not to the mansion was the cultivated taste and judgment
of the poet confined— he covered his extensive property with the most skilfully disposed and thriving
plantations, aud by his improvements induced others to contribute to ornament that beautiful portion
of the valley of the Tweed.
Rivers and Railways.— The principal streams of Roxburghshire are beautiful and interesting,
and their t" h 'itaries numerous. The noble Tweed enters the county near the influx of the Ettrick,
150 vo

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