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5s diversified, even in the flattest portions, with many
undulations and gentle rising grounds ; presents in most
parts a series of elevations, in ranges from NW to SE,
rising to altitudes of from 200 to 700 feet above sea-level ;
and, while destitute of any such bold or romantic features
as abound in most other districts of Scotland, is far less
tame and hardly less ornate than the rich, low, flat
counties of the centre and the E of England. The
northern division, comprising Lammermuir and Lauder-
dale, is prevailingly upland ; consists mainly of a broad
range of well-defined, rounded lofty hills, intersected by
numerous vales or dells ; and, though including arable
fields on the skirts or in the hollows, and possessing a
large aggregate of green pasture on the acclivities, is
principally bleak and moorish. The hills are generally
gradual in their ascents, seldom rocky or precipitous on
their shoulders, and often tabular on their summits ;
they mostly rise to altitudes above sea-level of from
500 to 800 feet in the E, and from 900 or 1000 to
1200 or 1300 feet in the W. Eighteen of the highest
summits, with their respective altitudes above sea-level,
are Tarf Law (1248 feet), Dun Law (1292), Black Hill
(1299), Berecleugh Ridge (1335), Lamb Rigg (1339),
Wether Law (1379), Hog Hill (1395), South Hart Law
(1437), Wedder Law (1460), Ninecairn Edge (1479),
Waddels Cairn (1490), MeikleLaw(1531), North Hart Law
(1578), Wedderlairs (1593), Hunt Law (1625), Willie's
Law (1626), Crib Law (1670), and Seenes Law (1683).
The chief rivers are the Tweed, running altogether
about 21 miles on the boundary, everywhere very beauti-
ful there, receiving either there or elsewhere all the
other waters of the county, except small ones in the
NE, and leaving the boundary at a point 3J miles above
Berwick ; the Eye, draining a considerable portion of
the NE and running to the sea at Eyemouth ; the Ale,
running 6 miles south-eastward to the Eye, at a point
1J mile SSE of Eyemouth ; the Whitadder, coming in
from Haddingtonshire, and running south-eastward
across Lammermuir and the Merse to the Tweed, 2 miles
above Berwick ; the Blackadder, rising in the W centre
of Lammermuir, and running circuitously eastward to
the Whitadder at Allanbank ; the Leet, rising and run-
ning entirely in the Merse to the Tweed at Coldstream ;
the Eden, rising near the foot of western Lammermuir
and running southward and eastward to Ednam in
Roxburghshire, and passing through that parish to the
Tweed ; and the Leader, rising near the north-western
extremity of Lauderdale, and running south-south-
eastward, mainly in the interior, partly on the bound-
ary, to the Tweed at Drygrange bridge. A small lake is
in Dunse parish ; and a large one, covering about 30
acres, is in Coldingham. Mineral springs are at Dunse
and Chirnside. Silurian rocks prevail in Lammermuir
and Lauderdale, and Devonian rocks prevail in the
Merse ; but they are interspersed, in numerous places,
with eruptive rocks, and, in a few places, with rocks of
the Carboniferous formation. The Silurian rocks in
some parts of the coast, particularly around St Abb's
Head, exhibit extraordinary contortions, and form an
interesting study to geologists, both as regards these
contortions themselves, and as regards their juxtaposi-
tion with eruptive rocks. The Silurians also, in some
parts, are a subject of debate in geology, as to whether
they are truly Silurian or Cambrian ; whilst else-
where they are so fissile as to approximate to the char-
acter of clay slate. The eruptive rocks include por-
phyry, amygdaloid, amorphous basalt, and other kinds
of trap. Sandstone of compact texture, and of a delicate
cream or yellowish-grey colour, extends along the Tweed ;
underlies the parishes of Eecles, Coldstream, Ladykirk,
Swinton, and Whitsome ; ramifies also into Edrom, Hut-
ton, and other neighbouring parishes ; suits well as a
building material, specially for exterior walls and for
carvings ; and is extensively quarried. Sandstone of a
red colour extends from Legerwood, through the centre
of the county, to the southern part of the coast ; serves
as a good building material ; and is the stone of which
the modern magnificent edifice of Ayton Castle was
built. Limestone occurs in some inland parts, but is
either too sparse, or too poor, to be economically worked.
A ferruginous claystone occurs in Ayton, Mordington, and
Cockburnspath, and was attempted to be worked as an
ironstone or ore of iron, but also was found too poor to
be compensating. Gypsum, of tolerably good quality,
is found in Chirnside and Greenlaw parishes. Coal
occurs adjacent to the ferruginous claystone in Ayton,
Mordington, and Cockburnspath, and has been supposed
to exist also in Abbey St Bathans and Longformacus,
but it has never given promise of affording a fair output
for even local domestic use. Copper ore exists at
Ordwell, on the Whitadder, and was at one time worked,
but never paid ; some pure quicksilver, in small quan-
tity, has been found at Holehill. Some good lapidary
stones are found in the Tweed.
The soils are very various, and often intermixed.
A fine deep loam, frequently on a gravelly bottom,
sometimes on a bottom of stiff tenacious clay, forms an
extensive tract along the Tweed, the Whitadder, and
the Blackadder ; an argillaceous soil, stiff and rather
coarse, forms another extensive tract near these rivers,
but further back from them than the tract of rich loam.
A free dry soil, either sandy or gravelly, denominated
turnip soil and usually incumbent on a dry bottom of
sand or gravel, forms most of the remainder of the
Merse, the vale lands of Lammermuir and Lauderdale,
and the lower slopes of most of the hills. But in all
parts of the county, often in the same farm, sometimes in
the same field, these three soils either graduate into one
another, so as to form intermediate varieties, or are in-
termixed to more or less extent, or in more or less
degree, in patches or irregular strips, and also are more
or less modified by the character of the sub-soil. The
soils or surfaces of the rest of the county are variously
meadow, moss, and moor. Mr Home, in his Agricul-
tural Report, computing the land area of the county at
2S5,440 acres, assigns 25,410 acres to the rich loam,
40,3S0 acres to the argillaceous soil, 119,780 acres to the
turnip soil, and 99,S70 acres to meadow land, moss, and
moor. Peat-mosses or turf-bogs are found in all parts
of the hilly country, and in various patches through the
lowlands ; and marshes or marshy bogs, overgrown
with rushes or other aquatic plants, occur in many
situations, even in the most fertile parts of the county.
Some of the larger bogs are very deep, and seem to
occupy the place of ancient lakes ; but other bogs, or
places which were once bogs, have admitted of reclama-
tion into either sound firm pasture or good arable land. —
The climate of the Merse, as compared with that of some
other fine agricultural districts of Scotland, is favourable,
insomuch as to permit the annual sowing of wheat
after turnips, sometimes as late as April, with the result
of a fair crop ; and, as compared with the climate of Lam-
mermuir, it is eminently good, insomuch that the agri-
cultural operations of spring and harvest often proceed
in it under genial dry weather, while they are either in-
terrupted, retarded, or imperfectly performed, in Lam-
mermuir, under prevalence of low temperature or heavy
rain. Cold easterly winds generally prevail for several
weeks in spring, and both retard vegetation and produce
injurious effects on gardens, and on corn and grass
fields. SW winds commonly commence before the end
of May are accompanied with genial heat, and prevail
during the summer months. Heavy or prolonged falls
of rain seldom occur. Excessive droughts are more com-
mon, and are regarded, by experienced agriculturists,
as more suited to the soil, and better calculated to pro-
duce a good crop, than excessive rains. Winter, as a
rule, is mild. Heavy falls of snow are rare ; and the
snow lies seldom long on the Merse, but often remains
for weeks on the Lammermuirs.
Agricultural improvement, dating from about 1730,
went forward with vigour under several great directing
minds for many years ; commended itself eventually to
the approbation of the general body of the farmers ;
and, embracing all the departments of tillage, fertilisa-
tion, rotation, and stock-husbandry, as expounded by
science and tested by experience, has rendered Berwick-
shire one of the most skilfully cultivated and highly

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