Click for Bookshop

Old County of Peeblesshire (Tweeddale)

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2014.

It has taken much time and money to make the six-volumes of Groome's text freely accessible. Please help us continue and develop by making a donation. If only one out of every ten people who view this page gave £5 or $10, the project would be self-sustaining. Sadly less than one in thirty-thousand contribute, so please give what you can.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry Arrow

Links to the Historical Statistical Accounts of Scotland are also available:
(Click on the link to the right, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Browse scanned pages")

1834-45: Peebles

Peeblesshire or Tweeddale, an inland county in the S of Scotland, is bounded on the N and NE by Edinburghshire, E and SE by Selkirkshire, S by Dumfriesshire, and on the SW and W by Lanarkshire. It derives its former name from its chief town, Peebles; the latter from the fact that the source, and nearly half of the course, of the river Tweed lies within its borders. The boundary runs on the N and NE in a jagged line from the Pentland Hills by Carlops and Leadburn to Kingside Edge; thence S to the Moorfoot Hills, and by Windlestraw Law and Garthope Burn to the Tweed, whose course it crosses at Holylee; thence westwards along the S bank of the Tweed to the Haystoun Burn, though with four bold and irregular loops running almost due S into Selkirkshire, and including the basins of the Bold Burn, Fingland Burn, and Quair Water; and so S by the line of Waddinshope Burn, Glenrath Heights, Blackhouse Heights, and Henderland to St Mary's Loch, a reach of which forms a small part of the S boundary of the shire. From St Mary's the boundary next runs along a line of heights by Loch Skene and Hart Fell to Tweed's Cross, where it turns N to form the W limit of the shire by Clyde Law, Black Dod, Culter Fell, Hartree, Skirling, Netherurd, and Medwin Water to the Pentland Hills, which form the NW boundary. The outline thus traced presents the appearance of an irregular triangle, facing W, SE, and NE, with rounded angles, and most broken by indentations on the SE base line where there are projections into Selkirkshire. The lengths of the sides are along the W face, from N to S, 26 miles; along the SE face, 30 miles; and along the NE, 23 miles. The extreme length of the county, from N to S, is 29 miles; its extreme breadth, from E to W, is 2l miles; and its total area is 354 square miles or 226,899 acres (of which 970 are water); lying between 500 24' and 550 50' N latitude, and between 20 45' and 30 23' W longitude. It is the twenty-third county of Scotland in point of size, and the thirtieth in population.

The surface of Peeblesshire attains a higher average level than that of any other of the southern Scottish counties. The lowest ground is in the narrow vale of the Tweed, just where it enters Selkirkshire, and lies between 400 and 500 feet above sea-level. The highest ground in the county is on the S border, where the summits of the Hartfell group rise. The highest peak is, however, Broad Law (2754 feet), in Tweedsmuir parish, 4 miles from the S border. At a general view the county seems to be an assemblage of hills, more or less high, and more or less closely grouped; but these are intersected in all directions by pleasant and fertile valleys or deep gorges, each with its stream flowing through it. Professor Veitch thus describes the view from the top of Broad Law: ` On all sides, but particularly to the east of us, innumerable rounded broad hilltops run in a series of parallel flowing ridges, chiefly from the south-west to the north-east, and between the ridges we note that there is enclosed in each a scooped-out glen, in which we know that a burn or water flows. These hill-tops follow each other in wavy outline. One rises, falls, passes softly into another. This again rises, falls, and passes into another beyond itself; and thus the eye reposes on the long soft lines of a sea of hills, whose tops move and yet do not move, for they carry our vision along their undulating flow, themselves motionless, lying like an earth-ocean in the deep, quiet calm of their statuesque beauty.' The character of the country is distinctly pastoral. The hills, ` too plain to be grand, too ample and beautiful to be commonplace,' are for the most part softly rounded, and have gentle slopes, clothed with rich verdure and hanging woods; while the numerous streams, the private demesnes, and the highly cultivated farms, combine to make the scenery beautiful and pleasing without being romantic or wild. Th e lofty grounds in the S, however, and the ridge running WSW from Minchmoor on the E, are much more rugged and desolate. The main river-valley is that of the Tweed, which stretches in a semicircle from the extreme SW corner, through the heart of the county, and on to the E angle; forming a main artery, into which nearly all the water-courses flow. Over a great proportion of its length this central basin is little more than a series of gores, affording space for nothing except the river and the public road; it nowhere expands into vales of more than 3 miles in breadth, and seldom into haughs of more than a few furlongs; while its banks are oftener heights or abrupt risings than plains or gentle slopes. From this central line of river-course the county everywhere rises in a series of irregularly shelving ascents towards the boundaries.

Mountains.—A glance at the map shows that a great part of the boundary of Peeblesshire is mountainous, and that the ranges on the borders are among the highest in the county. Thus shut in by a natural barrier, and in ancient times having the thick forest of Ettrick on its eastern frontier, Peeblesshire has had a more secluded history than its neighbourhood to the metropolitan county might have suggested. On the NW lies a section of the Pentland Hills, extending over an area 5¼ miles long by 3 broad. The chief summits there in order from E to W are Craigengar (1700 feet), Faddon Hill (1526), Byrehope Mount (1752), Kingseat (1521), Mount Man (1753), West Cairn Hill (1844), and East Cairn Hill (1839). The N and NE border, from the sources of the North Esk to those of the Caddon, is occupied by the Moorfoot Hills; the principal summits of that range within Peeblesshire, from the NW to NE and thence S, are Carlops Hill (1490 feet), Kingside Edge (891), Lochhill (1560), Jeffries Corse (2004), Dundreich (2040), Powbeat (2049), Blackhope Scars (2136), Middle Hill (1978), East Side Height (1944), and Whitehope Law (2038). Windlestraw Law (2161 feet), still on the NE border, is about 4 miles N of the Tweed. To the S of the Tweed the chief summits are less regularly near the border of the county. In the irregularly outlined section which forms the NE part of the SE border, the chief summits, in order from N to S, are Plora Rig (1567 feet), Kirkhope Law (1758), Bold Rig (1280), Orchard Rig (1463), Pipers Knowe (1444), Minchmoor (1856), Hare Law (1670), Stake Law (two peaks, 2229 and 1784), Dun Rig (2433), and Duchaw Law (1779); while in the irregularly disposed ranges that run from Haystoun southwards through the parishes of Manor and Lyne and Megget to St Mary's Loch, the principal border mountains are Cademuir (1359), Preston Law (1863), Scawd Law, Hundleshope (2249), Glenrath Hill (2049), and Heights (2205), Horsehope Hill (1938), Blackhouse Heights (2213), Black Law (2285), Deer Law (2065), and Watch Law (1710), overlooking St Mary's Loch. In the mountaincovered parish of Tweedsmuir, which forms the southern extremity of the shire, the chief summits are Lochcraig Head (2625 feet), overlooking Loch Skene, Cape Law (2364), Hartfell (2651), and Barry Grain Rig (2012), all on the S border; and Clyde Law (1789) and Black Dod (1787) on its W border. Continuing in order towards the N along the W boundary of the county, the chief summits are Coomb Dod (2082 feet), Coomb Hill (2096), Culter Fell (2454), Cardon Hill (2218), Langlaw Hill (1208), between Skirling and Broughton, Broomy Law (1399), Shaw Hill (1121), and Mendick Hill (1480), a beautifully rounded summit, lying to the S of the Pentlands and W of Linton. In the interior of the country there are several summits and groups that are noteworthy. The Cloich Hills in the N of Eddleston parish attain the height of 1570 feet in Wether Law. Further S, between Eddleston Water and the Leithen, are Cardon Law (1928 feet), Whiteside Edge (1763), Lamb Law (1804), and Makeness Kipps (1839); and between the Leithen and Tweed, Dunslair Heights (1975), Sherra Law (1844), Black Law (1762). and Lea Pen (1647). South of the Tweed a range of high hills runs from near Cademuir southwards along the W side of the Manor Water valley, with Hunt Law (1591 feet), Breach Law (1884), Scrape (2347), Pykestone Hill (2414), Long Grain Knowe (2306), and Dollar Law (2680), as chief summits. Other hills, still to the SE of the Tweed, and in the parishes of Drummelzier, Lyne and Megget, and Tweedsmuir, are, from N to S, Drummelzier Law (2191 feet), Glenstivon Dod (2256), Taberon Law (2088), Polmood Hill (1548), Lairdside Knowe (1635), Birkside Law (1951), Cramalt Craig (2723), Broad Law (2754), Clockmore (2100), Cairn Law (2352), Erie Hill (2259), Molls Cleuch Dod (2571), and Garelet Dod (2263); and N of the Tweed and Biggar Water are Broughton Heights, with Wether Law (1872) and Flint Hill (1756); to the S and E of these Trahenna Hill (1792) and Penvalla (1764); and Meldon Hill, NW of the town of Peebles (1401), known as ` the hill of fire,' was a place of worship of the ancient Britons.

Rivers and Lakes.—With the exception of the Medwin Water in the NW, which flows into the Clyde, a few streamlets which join the head-waters of the North and South Esks in the N, and some smaller rivulets, all the streams of Peeblesshire are tributary to the Tweed, which has already been indicated as the chief river of the county. Even the waters of the Megget in the S, which flows directly into St Mary's Loch, ultimately join it by way of the Yarrow, which flows out of that lake and falls into the Tweed in Selkirkshire. The source of the Tweed is identified in a small fountain, called Tweed's Well, at the base of the hill Tweed's Cross, in the south-western part of Tweedsmuir parish. Thence it flows in a semicircular course through the heart of the county, traversing first the parish of Tweedsmuir and part of Drummelzier, then dividing Drummelzier from Glenholm and Stobo, cutting next a section of the last-named parish and touching the N boundary of Manor, and thence flowing through Peebles to become the boundary between Innerleithen and Traquair, until it finally leaves the county at Holylee, after a course of 41 miles. On the further side of the range which gives birth to the Tweed, rise the Annan and the Clyde, a fact commemorated in the popular rhyme:

'Annan, Tweed, and Clyde,
Rise a' oot o' ae hill-side.'

The valley of the Tweed in Peeblesshire has already been described. Until the practice of draining became common, the lands on the banks of the river used to suffer from floods in times of heavy rains or snow, though at ordinary times the depth of the stream varies from about 2 to 4 feet. There are several fords within the limits of the county; though for a very long period there was but one bridge, viz., that at the county town. The waters of the Tweed abound in salmon, trout, and other fresh-water fishes. The mountain and hill mosses which flank either side of this main river are intersected by a perfect network of smaller tributary streamlets, few of any great length and confined mostly to narrow ravines and gorges. The chief affluents of the Tweed, from its source to the point at which it quits Peeblesshire, are, on the right bank, Core Water, Glencraigie Burn, Fingland Burn, Hawkshaw Burn, Fruid Water, Menzion Burn, Talla Water, with its feeder, Gameshope Burn, issuing from Gameshope Loch, and Harestanes Burn-all in Tweedsinuir parish; Polmood Burn, between that parish and Drummelzier; Stanhope Burn, Powsail Burn, with its feeders, Drummelzier and Scrape Burns, in Drummelzier parish; Manor Water, with its feeders, in Manor parish; Haystoun or Glensax Burn, joined by Waddinshope and Crookston Burns, in Peebles parish; and Kirkburn, Quair Water, with its feeders, and Bold Burn, in Traquair parish. On its left bank the chief affluents of the Tweed are Badlieu Burn and Glenwhappen Burn, in Tweedsmuir parish; Kingledoors Burn, in Drummelzier; Biggar Water, in the united parish of Broughton, Glenholm, and Kilbucho; Hopstead or Stobo Burn, in Stobo; the river Lyne, between Stobo and Peebles; Eddleston or Peebles Water and Soonhope Burn, in Peebles parish; and Horsburgh Burn, Leithen Water, Walker Burn, and Gatehope Burn (the boundary of the county), in Innerleithen. Several of these affluents have noteworthy tributaries. The Manor Water in its 103/8 miles' course receives, on the right, Linghope, Glenrath, and Hundleshope Burns; and on the left, Newholm Hope and HallManor Burns. The Quair in its 7 miles' course receives, on the right, Glenlude or Newhall Burn, Curley or Shillinglaw Burn, Glengaber or Finglaud Burn, and Tinniel Burn; and on the left, the Killburn. Biggar Water receives, on the right, Kilbucho Water and Holmes Water; and on the left, Spittal, Kirklaw, and Broughton Burns. Lyne Water, the largest affluent of the Tweed in Peeblesshire, has a course of 18¾ miles through the NW part of the county, which is therefore sometimes called Lynedale. It receives, on the right, Baddinsgill Burn, Polinlarf or West Water, Medwin or Tarth Water, with its feeder, the Deanburn, and Happrew Burn; and on the left, Cairn, Dead, Flemington, and Harehope or Meldon Burns. Eddleston Water in its course of 9 miles receives, on the right, Early, DarnlRall, and Wormiston Burns; and on the left, Langcote, Windylaws, and Winkston Burns. Leithen Water, in its 9¾ miles' course receives, on the left, Craighope, Williamslee, Glentrees, and Colquhar Burns. The Megget has a course of 7½ miles E, through part of Lyne and Megget, before it falls into St Mary's Loch in the S, and receives, on the right, Winterhope and Shielhope Burns; and on the left, Wylies, Linghope, Cramalt, Craigier, and Glengaber Burns. The only other independent streams of Peeblesshire are the North and South Esks. The former, rising in the extreme N, forms for 5 miles the boundary with Edinburghshire, and receives from Peeblesshire the Doit, Fairleyhope, Carlops, Deepsyke, and Coaly or Harbourcraig Burns. The only Peeblesshire tributary of the South Esk, which rises in Portmore Loch and flows N, is the Tweeddale Burn, which forms some miles of the E boundary with Edinburghshire. Many of the streams abound in trout or other fish; and the angling waters of the shire attract very many visitors every year. The lakes of this county are neither large nor numerous. Portmore or Eddleston (now a reservoir of the Edinburgh Water Company) Loch is about 2 miles in circuit, and is situated towards the NE, in Eddleston parish; Slipperfield, ½ mile less, lies towards the NW, in Linton parish; Gameshope Loch, a still smaller expanse of water, lies in the far S, in Tweedsmuir parish. All are stocked with such fresh-water fish as perch, pike, or trout. Though St Mary's Loch furnishes 7 furlongs of the SE boundary of the most southerly part of the parish of Lyne and Megget, it belongs properly to Selkirkshire. The chief medicinal springs are those of Heaven-Aqua Well in Linton, and -celebrated Spa of Innerleithen.

Geology.—The various geological formations represented in this county may be readily grasped from the accompanying table:-

Recent and post Tertiary. Peat, Alluvium. Morainic gravel in river terraces and kames,moraines and boulder clay.
Carboniferous. Millstone Grit. Reddish sandstones.
Carboniferous Limestone. Upper group of limestones,sandstones, and coals.
Middle group of coals and ironstones.
Lower group of limestones and coals
Calciferous Sandstones. Upper group of white sandstones, shales, and cementstones
Lower group of red sandstones and marls.
Old Red. Sandstone. Lower Old Red Sandstone. Upper group of conglomerates and sandstones.
Middle group composed of contemporaneous volcanic rocks.
Lower group of chocolate coloured sandstones and marls
Silurian. Upper Division. Sandy shales, sandstones andgrits, with characteristic Ludlow and Wenlock fossils.
Lower Division. Upper black shale group.
Lowther and Dalreen groups, containing the Wrae limestone charged with Caradoc fossils.
Queensberry grits.
Lower black shale groups.

The oldest members of the Lower Silurian formation are exposed along the crest of a sharp anticlinal axis on the hill slope overlooking Megget Water, near the farm of Cramalt. Consisting of black shales, which are overlaid by barren mudstones, they are grouped in virtue of the embedded graptolites with the Hartfell zone of the Moffat black shale series. Additional exposures of the Moffat series are met with near the county boundary, just above Loch Skene, but in these instances only the highest or Birkhill zones are represented. Resting on the black shales just described are found certain finely levigated shales, with occasional pebbly or conglomeratic bands, which are known as the Grieston beds. They are typically developed in this part of the county. Though their thickness is limited, they cover a considerable area, owing to the numerous sharp folds occurring in the series. Among the shales a dark band is met with, which is crowded with the characteristic Graptolithus Griestonensis, which takes its name from this locality. The massive grits following the Grieston shales in regular succession, which have been termed the Queensberry grits by the Geological Survey, are met with to the N of Manor Head. The members of this series form some of the highest ground in the south of Scotland. Broad Law and Cramalt, reaching 2754 feet and 2723 feet respectively, are composed of the massive grits of this subdivision. Owing to the amount of decomposed rock, an extensive covering of peat is met with on the surface of this broad tableland, but along the sides of the glens lines of debris occur, and especially towards the coomb-shaped hollows at the head of the valleys. The features characteristic of this series may be studied on the hills lying to the S of the Tweed at Peebles. The great elevation of the Hartfell range, which exposes the black shales of the Moffat series along the crest of an anticline, is also due to the presence of the grits; the intervening Grieston shales having thinned away to a few feet of strata. A line drawn in an ENE direction across the Tweed at Peebles marks the upper limit of the Queensberry group. To the N of this boundary-line they pass underneath greywackes and shales, with occasional bands of grit and fine conglomerate containing casts of Petraia and encrinites, and these beds are overlaid in turn by a thick group of shales, which are typically developed in the Lowther Hills in Dumfriesshire. These Lowther shales are also well represented at Wrae and Stobo in this county; at the latter locality they have been quarried for slates, and were formerly much used for this purpose in the Vale of the Tweed, but they have been entirely superseded by the Welsh slates. The Wrae shales are dark and finely levigated, possessing a silky lustre when freshly fractured. From the recent researches of the Geological Survey it would appear that the Wrae limestone, which occurs in nodules and lenticular bands, is regularly interbedded with the shales. The perfect conformity between the two zones is well seen when the shales are followed to the WSW in Lanarkshire. It is important to observe also that the Winkstone beds, which are often highly calcareous, consist of decomposed pebbly grits, occupying the same general horizon as the Wrae limestone. There are several bands of fossiliferous pebbly grit associated with the Lowther shales both in this county and in Lanarkshire, of which the band at Kilbucho is an example. The fossils from the Wrae limestone, and the Kilbucho and Winkstone conglomerates, have long been recognised as presenting a Caradoc facies. Among these may be mentioned Orthis Caligramma, Leptæna tenuistriata, Spiriferb biforatus, Lituites cornuarietis, Asaphus tyrannus, etc. It is evident, therefore, that the shales associated with these lenticular bands of limestone are of Llandeilo-Caradoc Age.

Lying in synclines of the Lowther shales are to be found certain bands of black shales, which are overlaid by a zone of dark and light coloured cherl. One of the outcrops of the black shales is to be found in the Howe's Water, whence it may be traced to the sources of the Leithen Water and the boundary of the county near Blackhope Scar. From this point N to the edge of the Silurian rocks, several minor undulations are met with; but as the strata are arranged mainly in a great synclinal fold, only the Lowther shales and the underlying greywackes and shales are represented in this area. In the Pentland Hills the Upper Silurian rocks occur in several isolated areas in the midst of the Old Red Sandstone, partly in Edinburghshire and partly in this county. Of these the largest and most important development extends from the head of the Lyne Water to the county boundary at the North Esk Reservoir, and E as far as the Greenlaw Hill. Excellent sections are exposed in the stream courses, and especially in the North Esk, where the strata are highly inclined and show various minor foldings. But on the whole there is a general ascending series towards the NW. At the base, grey, green, and red shales are met with, passing upwards through grits and sandstones into brown sandy shales and sandstones, weathering with a concretionary structure, which are overlaid by soft red shale and red sandy conglomerate, forming the basement beds of the Lower Old Red Sandstone. From the fossils obtained from these beds it would appear that they represent the Ludlow and portion of the Wenlock rocks of Wales. These isolated patches of Upper Silurian strata are the oldest rocks of the Pentland chain; indeed, they are of special importance on account of the perfect gradation which exists between them and the earliest deposits of Old Red Sandstone Age.

Of the intrusive igneous rocks associated with the Silurian formation of this county, the oldest consists of quartz-felsites. A group of dykes is well seen in the Leithen Water, and in the neighbourhood of Grieston, where they generally coincide with the line of strike of the sedimentary rocks. The large basalt dykes of Tertiary Age, so abundantly represented in Lanarkshire, are also met with in this county, though to a limited extent. A few examples occur near the county boundary at the head waters of the Tweed.

The Lower Old Red Sandstone of Peeblesshire is divisible into three groups like the representatives of the same formation in Lanarkshire. The lower division, consisting of red sandstones and marls, rest conformably on the Upper Silurian rocks of the Pentland Hills as already indicated, and have shared in the convolutions which have affected the latter. The members of the middle group are composed of porphyrites, melaphyres, and tuffs, which are merely a prolongation to the ENE of the volcanic series occurring to the S of Douglas and Tinto in Lanarkshire. An important feature connected with this middle division is the relation which it bears to the lower group. In the Pentland Hills the volcanic rocks of the middle group rest unconformably on the lower series, as is the case on the slopes of Tinto in Lanarkshire, but when they are traced still farther to the SW in the latter county they are found to be perfectly conformable with each other. The upper group consists of conglomerates, the pebbles of which have been derived from the volcanic series, and these are overlaid by sandstones. Occasional beds of porphyrite and tuff are intercalated with these conglomerates and sandstones.

In the Esk section, where the perfect conformity between the members of the lower group and the Upper Silurian rocks is visible, the Lower Old Red strata consist of soft marls and sandstones, with red felspathic conglomerates containing pebbles of granite, felstone, quartz, and arenaceous rocks. It is interesting to note the occurrence of Ludlow fossils in these strata for some distance upwards from the base of the series. The area occupied by the lower group, however, is very limited compared with the other subdivisions. The latter form a belt of ground stretching across the county in an ENE direction from Stirling to Linton, near which locality they are unconformably overlaid by the Carboniferous formation. Throughout this tract the strata are arranged in a great synclinal fold, the centre of which is occupied by the conglomerates and sandstones of the upper group, while the contemporaneous volcanic rocks rise from underneath them on either side of the trough. It ought to be borne in mind, however, that the volcanic series is not traceable continuously along the SE side of the trough, owing to the existence of a great dislocation which brings different members of the Lower Old Red Sandstone into conjunction with the Silurian rocks. Sometimes only a portion of the volcanic series is exposed on the N side of the fault, sometimes no track of them is to be found, and the conglomerates and sandstones of the upper division are found in opposition with the Silurian strata. A glance at the Geological Survey Map of the district (sheet 24, 1 inch) shows how the great trough just referred to gradually becomes shallower towards the SW, and hence at the county boundary near Stirling the porphyrites of the volcanic series curve round the conglomerates at the base of the upper group. The deepest part of the basin occurs to the NW of Romanno Bridge, where the highest members of the Lower Old Red Sandstone of this county are to be found.

There is only a small development of the Carboniferous formation within the county. The red sandstones and conglomerates forming the base of the system are exposed in the basin of the Medwin Water at the N W boundary of the county, where they lap round the Lower Old Red strata and stretch E to the Cairn Hills. They are well exposed in the stream courses, an d on the slopes of Craiglugar, and the hills lying to the S, where they have a gentle inclination towards the W. The most important development of the carboniferous rocks in Peeblesshire occurs in the neighbourhood of Carlops and Leadburn, where the SW termination of the Edinburgh coalfield is met with. This portion of the basin is bounded on the N and S by two great faults running nearly parallel with each other; that on the S side brings the carboniferous rocks into conjunction with the Silurian strata and an outline of Old Red conglomerate; while the fault on the N side throws them against the Lower Old Red Sandstone. Hence it is only along the S W side of the basin that the unconformity between the carboniferous rocks and the Old Red Sandstone is traceable for any distance. In this area the red sandstones and conglomerates which usually form the basal beds of the Carboniferous system are hardly, if at all, represented. The beds are more nearly allied to the Upper or Cementstone group, consisting of green and grey sandstones and shales, with occasional thin seams of limestone. At Hartside a thin limestone exposed at the roadside probably represents the Burdiehouse Limestone of Midlothian.

The members of the lowest division of the Carboniferous Limestone series overlie the strata just described. There are two prominent seams of limestone which are traceable round the margin of the basin from Carlops by Whitefield to Leadburn. These are succeeded by the representatives of the middle division, which in this area contain fewer workable coal seams. Of these, the Corby Craig seam has been chiefly mined, but along with this bed occur the Beaty, Stony, and Rumbles seams. The Flaiks limestone, representing one of the bands which overlie this coal-bearing series, is exposed in the burn below Mitchellhill. An important outlier of the Carboniferous Limestone series occurs near Spittalhaugh to the S of Linton, within the area occupied by the Lower Old Red Sandstone. A band of limestone forms the lowest member of the series, which is succeeded by false-bedded sandstones and shales containing a thin seam of coal. Like the outliers of similar strata occurring in the Old Red Sandstone area S of Tinto, the existence of this fragment of Carboniferous Limestone resting unconformably on Old Red strata points to a gradual subsidence of the land barrier, and the overlap of higher members of the Carboniferous system.

In the neighbourhood of Auchincorth Moss the Millstone Grit is believed to exist, though the ground is much obscured with peat and glacial deposits. Only a brief reference can be made to the glacial deposits of this county. During the great extension of the ice, the general direction of the ice movement was towards the E. Striæ and roches moutonnées are not very abundant, but in the valleys of the Silurian tableland, as well as over the lower grounds, there is a great development of boulder clay. Along the valley of the Tweed and all its chief tributaries there are high level gravels, probably of glacial origin, which are frequently arranged in the form of kames. Still more interesting is the great development of moraines in the valleys draining the high grounds of the county. Indeed, nearly all the valleys in the White Coomb and Broad Law area contain traces of the later glaciers. Perhaps the best examples are to be met with in the Winterhope Burn and along the banks of the Megget Water. The glacier which gave birth to the Winterhope moraines took its rise on the height above Loch Skene; at the loch it divided in two portions, one branch descended by the Grey Mare's Tail into Moffatdale, while the other crossed the watershed into the Winterhope Valley and joined the trunk glacier which followed the course of the Megget Water. No finer examples of lateral and terminal moraines are to be found in the S of Scotland. Moraines are to be met with also in various tributaries of the Megget Water, such as the Cramalt, Longhope, and Wylies Burns, and also in some of the tributaries of the Tweed, as in the Talla and Fruid valleys. (See Geological Survey Map, sheet 24, and memoir descriptive of the sheet.)

Minerals and Soil.—Blue clay slate is found in Traquair and Stobo parishes, and has long been extensively worked. Coal is found in the NE extremity of the county, and there are mines at Carlops, Coalyburn, and Harlawmuir, and white sandstone abounds in the same district. Red sandstone of a firm texture and useful for building forms the hilly ridge of Broomylees, on the mutual border of Newlands and Linton. Limestone also abounds in the carboniferous district, and is extensively quarried and calcined for manure at Carlops, Whitefield, and Macbiehill. A bed of ironstone and some iron ore lie in the coal-field section, but are not rich enough to be remuneratively worked. Lead used to be worked in the vale of Lei then and on the Medwin estate; and silver has been found mixed with the galena in the latter quarter. Galena was also found in the glens of some of the tributaries of Quair Water; and gold used to be discovered on the Glengaber Burn in Meggetdale. A great variety of clays lies over a considerable part of the Carboniferous formation, including a very thick bed of fire-clay, like that of Stourbridge, and a small seam of fuller's earth. Alum-slate is also found; and red and yellow ochres, with veins of manganese, occur. Much of the soil of Peeblesshire must remain unturned by the plough; and there is very great diversity in the character of the arable land. Among the hills every hollow or level patch is occupied with moss of various depths, generally yielding supplies of peat. Moss of another kind, found on the higher slopes, though in its natural state moist, forms under the influence of ploughing and manuring a more or less fertile character. The skirts of the heath-clad hills and the high dry-lying flats, especially in Linton, are covered generally with a sandy moorish soil; and sand and clay, often mingled with gravel, extend over most of the other high-lying lands. The river-plains or haughs have generally a prevailingly light and sandy soil, though sometimes there is a more or less strong admixture of clay. Loam, whether clayey, sandy, gravelly, or stony, occurs only in the old croft lands, which have been blackened and mellowed by long and constant manuring and cultivation.

Climate.—'With its rounded grassy hills,' says Chambers, 'offering the finest sheep pasture, its alluvial vales, and clear streams, the county is free of any properties detrimental to general salubrity. With the absence of stagnant pools or unwholesome marshes is now to be remarked a high degree of improvement by the reclamation of waste lands and subsoil drainage, resulting in a singular lightness and dryness of atmosphere.' It may be added that the numerous plantations throughout the county aid this effect. The average annual rainfall is 29 inches, less than that of the adjoining counties.

The flora and fauna of Peeblesshire have been described in Chambers's History of Peeblesshire as somewhat limited. The same authority mentions as the chief indigenous trees and shrubs, the Scotch fir, ash, oak, elm, aspen, rowan or mountain ash, birch, alder, willow, hazel, jawthorn, elder, wild cherry, hagberry, sloe, juniper, whin or furze, dog rose, Scots rose, honeysuckle, ivy, common bilberry, whortleberry or blaeberry, red bilberry, cranberry, and three species of heath. Among trees not indigenous are the sycamore or plane, larch, spruce, silver and other firs, and yew. Alpine plants are scarce, but ferns are abundant in many parts. The most abundant kind of heath is the common ling or heather; but bell-heather and cross-leaved heath also abound; but many, even of the high hills, are covered with grass and not heath. Wild flowers are numerous and varied. Among the rarer plants that have been found in Peeblesshire are the flowering rush, spindletree, bird's-eye primrose, filmy fern, and the moss Buxbaumia aphylla. Red deer and roe-deer are now extinct in this county, though Meggetland, formerly called Rodonna, was a royal deer-forest; and in 1530 James V. and his nobles killed eighteen score of deer in one day there. The chief mammals now are the fox, otter, weasel, stoat, hedgehog, common and water shrew, mole, squirrel, brown and water rat, common and field mouse, field vole, common and Alpine hare, rabbit, and the common and long-eared bat. The badger and polecat are now rare. The white eagle used to build in some parts of this county, but has long ceased to do so. The peregrine falcon is now rare, though at one time Posso Craigs were famous for its falcons of this breed. Other hawks and a great variety of smaller birds are indigenous to the shire. Black and red grouse, partridge, and pheasant (the latter artificially introduced) afford good sport in the season. The quail, golden plover, and dotterel are sometimes seen. The adder or viper is common, but very irregularly distributed. The chief fishes are the salmon, salmon-trout, common trout, pike, perch, and eel.

Industries.—The industries of Peeblesshire are agriculture, sheep-farming, and manufacturing, and a little mining. According to the returns for 1881, 20 per cent. of the male population were engaged in agriculture, 32½ per cent. in industrial employments, 3 per cent. in commerce; 37 per cent. unproductive, and the remainder variously employed. Of the women 73 per cent. were unproductive, 9 per cent. were in domestic service, and the rest variously employed. The ancient forests of Leithen, Traquair and Ettrick, and a vast extent of copses in the centre, W and N, formerly adorned and sheltered nearly all Tweeddale, protecting the pasturage and encouraging agriculture. So early as the reign of David I. this woodland district was dotted with the parks of manors of princes and barons, and the granges and churches of monks, and with mills and kilns and brew houses. Farming and grazing flourished, corn was raised in abundance, dairies and orchards were numerous. This time of prosperity lasted for about two centuries from 1097; but it was followed by 400 years of retrogression and wretchedness, in which the demolition of the natural protection of the woods was one of the first and most fatal steps. Dr Pennicuik, who published his well-known Description of Tweeddale in 1715, saw the work of renovation commence; and he praised the young landowners for beginning to form plantations, which, as he foresaw, have enriched as well as embellished the country to the present day. The rural population, though industrious enough, were ` yet something artful, stubborn, and tenacious of old customs. There are, ' Pennicuik goes on, ` amongst them that will not suffer the wrack to be taken out of their land, because (say they) it keeps the corn warm, nor sow their bear-seed, be the season wet or dry, till the first week of May be over, which they call Runchie week, nor plant trees nor hedges, for wronging the undergrowth, and sheltering the birds of the air to destroy their corn; neither will they trench and ditch a piece of useless boggy ground, for fear of the loss of 5 or 6 feet of grass, for a far greater increase; which, however, with a custom they have of overlaying [overstocking] the ground, which they term full blemishing, makes their cattle generally lean, little, and give a mean price in a market. ' In 1830, Archibald, Earl of Islay, afterwards third Duke of Argyll, began his famous attempt to reclaim a piece of boggy ground (which he appropriately rechristened as Whim) by draining and planting; and about the same time Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope raised his plantations and wrote his tracts on agricultural matters; while the desire for improvements gradually spread among other proprietors in the county. The agricultural history of Peeblesshire has been written by Rev. Charles Findlater in 1802, who chronicles the successive steps in the advance. About 1763 or 1764 Mr George Dalziel, innkeeper, first at Linton and then at Noblehouse, was the first who sowed turnip in the open fields; while Mr James Macdougal, a small farmer of Linton, originally from the neighbourhood of Kelso, was, in 1778, the first person to introduce the rotation of cropping, the cultivation of turnips for the use of sheep, the growing of potatoes in the open fields, and some other reforms. Till 1750 grain used to be winnowed by the wind on hill tops; but about that date fanners were introduced. The flail had almost disappeared by 1832, its place being taken by thrashing-mills, worked by water or horsepower. A very considerable impetus was given to agriculture in 1788, by the security of tenure introduced by the Earl of March, who gave long leases of 57 years. The tenants were encouraged to erect better farm buildings, and to lay out more labour and capital in clearing, enclosing, and improving the land; and although, ultimately in 1821, the leases were reduced by the House of Lords as incompetent on an entailed estate, the advantages were not wholly allowed to disappear. During the present century the farmers and landowners of Peeblesshire have made steady progress; and in proportion to its natural capacities, Tweeddale rivals even Haddingtonshire itself in the enlightened methods and skill of its agriculturists. The introduction of guano and other light fertilizers has enabled cultivation to be extended to much land to which previously the steepness of the hills had prevented the carting of dung; much hill-pasture has, in this way, been converted into productive arable land. So early as 1775 observers had begun to notice the diminution in the number of small farms and peasant proprietors in Peeblesshire; and the process has gone on since then, although even yet there are small holdings in all parts of the shire. According to the returns of 1881, there were 34 farms of 1000 acres or more; 26 between 500 and 1000; 65 between 100 and 500; and 45 between 5 and 100 acres. Chambers, writing in 1864, says that rents are generally from £250 to £800, though in some instances upwards of £1000 is paid. The general average per acre he puts at 32s. or 33s. per acre, except in the neighbourhood of towns or villages, where as much as £4 per acre is paid. Leases are generally for 19 years, rarely for 21 or any other number of years, except in the case of sheepfarms, which are let on leases of from 9 to 15 years. The most common rotation, according to the same authority, is a five years' one:-(1) Oats after lea; (2) potatoes, turnips, or other green crops; (3) barley, oats, or wheat; (4) grass, for hay or pasture; (5) grass, as pasture. Hinds or married ploughmen receive from £13 to £15 in money, together with various perquisites, such as a cow's keep, 65 stones of oatmeal, a month's food during harvest, etc. A grieve receives about £24 in money. Young men living with the farmer receive £18 to £20; boys, up to £8 a year; female servants, from £8 to £10. The bothy system of lodging farm labourers is unknown in the county; but the bondager system prevails to a certain extent. The following table indicates the principal crops, and the acreage under each in various years:—

  1867. 1873. 1874. 1880. 1882.
Barley, . . . . 1,415 1,764 1,881 1,318 1,183
Oats, . . . . 9,000 9,561 9,319 9,057 9,263
Pease, . . . . 146 26 28 6 73
Turnips,. . . . 5,297 5,775 5,144 1,820 4,748
Potatoes, . . . 616 690 626 1,006 671
Cabbage, etc., . . 94 286 380 268 333
Other Green Crops, . 159 127 134 151 135
Bare Fallow,. . . .. .. 137 91 4
Grass, Permanent Pasture, 13,516 .. 10,371 11,297 13,977
Grass in Rotation,. . 11,733 .. 13,001 13,995 12,044

In 1874 there were 9041 acres under plantation; in 1882 10,177. Market gardens and nursery grounds occupied only 7 acres in 1882.

The following table shows the quantity of farm stock At various dates:

  1867 1874 1880 1882
Horses, . .. 916 1184 892
Cattle,. . 4966 6533 5934 5643
Sheep,. . 180,796 201,259 199,512 189,753
Pigs, . . 1174 955 719 872

In Peeblesshire, as may be inferred from the preceding statistics, as well as from the nature of the surface, sheep-farming is a highly important industry. In many cases, arable farming is combined with it by the same farmer, but the hills in Tweedsmuir near the upper course of the Tweed, and those flanking the valleys of the Leithen, Manor, and Megget, are too high for agriculture, and are entirely devoted to sheeppasturing. This industry had already begun to be of importance in Peeblesshire in the beginning of the 17th century. In the short account of the county which appeared in 1654, along with Timothy Pont's Map in Blaew's Atlas, mention is made of the good and wholesome pasturage for sheep to be found, especially in the S next Selkirkshire; and Pennicuik, in 1715, mentions that the county is ` stored with such numbers of sheep that in the Lintoun mercats, which are kept every Wednesday during the months of June and July, there have frequently been seen 9000 in the customer's roll, and most of all these sold and vented in one day.' The introduction of turnip growing on a large scale doubtless encouraged the keeping of sheep, during the 18th century, which has very much developed in the present century. The Cheviot breed predominates generally; but in the more exposed and inclement lands the Black-faced breed is found to be hardier. In some parts a cross between one of these breeds and the Leicester breed is found suitable. Linton market ceased to be held in 1856; Melrose, Lanark, and Lockerbie are now the chief marts for the Peeblesshire flock-masters. Sheep-farms are let on leases generally from 9 to 15 years; the rent is usually calculated according to the number of sheep a farm can support, and the kind of sheep is also taken into account, with their estimated value and productiveness. Rents thus lary from 5s. to 10s. and even 12s. per sheep. Shepherds are sometimes paid in the same manner as hinds, receiving about £20 in money, besides perquisites; but in most cases he receives no money, but is entitled to the proceeds from a certain number of sheep, known as the ` shepherd's pack, ' which feed along with his master's flock. The Teeswater or other short-horn black cattle are kept for grazing and stock purposes; while the Ayrshire breed is preferred for dairy purposes, to which most attention is given in the northern parishes. The horses are chiefly of the Clydesdale breed. Pigs and poultry are tolerably ubiquitous; and bees are kept, chiefly in the lower parts of the county.

The manufacturing industries of Peeblesshire are wholly centred in a few towns and villages, in spite of the abundant water power and other natural advantages of the county. The woollen manufacture, carried on chiefly at Innerleithen, Walkerburn, and Peebles, is the chief staple, and employed 1459 hands in 1881. Other industries are referred to in our articles on these places, and Broughton, Carlops, and Linton. The commerce of the county restricts itself to the export of the produce of the sheep, arable, and dairy farms; and import and retail of the small amount of goods required for local consumption. There is some coal mining in the northern parishes, chiefly near Carlops; slate and other quarries hale been already referred to.

Railways and Roads.—The county is very well provided with means of communication. A branch of the North British railway enters it at Leadburn Junction in the N, passes Eddleston station before reaching Peebles, where it turns eastwards along the Tweed, passing Cardrona and Innerleithen stations before it enters Selkirkshire, where it joins the main line at Galashiels. Another line from the Caledonian station at Symington crosses the W boundary about the middle, and follows the course of the Biggar Water and Tweed to Peebles, passing Broughton, Lyne, and Stobo stations. A shorter reach of the North British railway branches off at Leadburn towards the W, and runs through the northern part of the county, past the stations of Lamancha, Macbie Hill, and Broomlee, and joins the Caledonian line at Carstairs. In spite of the hilly nature of the county, good roads are tolerably plentiful, except in the mountainous and rough districts to the S of the Tweed, where there are only rough tracks. The high road from Edinburgh enters Peeblesshire at Leadburn, and runs directly S alongside the railway and Eddleston Water to Peebles; thence a road runs down Tweeddale, through Innerleithen and Walkerburn, into Selkirkshire; while a second proceeds up the valleys of the Tweed and Biggar Water, through Broughton, and thence to Glasgow liâ Biggar, throwing off, near Lyne church, another branch, which runs up part of the Lyne and Tarth Waters and through Kirkurd parish, and thence also to Glasgow. A third road from Peebles runs S along the course of the Manor Water to Megget and St Mary's Loch. A road from Edinburgh to Dumfries enters the county at Leadburn, runs SW to Kirkurd, where it is joined by another road entering the county at Carlops, and thence proceeds through the western part of the shire parallel to the head waters of the Tweed, till it leaves Peeblesshire in the extreme S of Tweedsmuir parish. Another branch of the Carlops road turns more to the W at Linton, and enters Lanarkshire at Kippis, whence it proceeds to Dumfries liâ Biggar and Moffat. Most of the larger river-valleys, as those of the Lyne, Leithen, Quair, etc., are traversed by shorter roads connecting with one or more of these main arteries of traffic. A turnpike road runs along the S bank of the Tweed to Traquair, and thence on into Selkirkshire. A mountain track, which strikes off near Traquair, and passes over the summit of Minchmoor, was at one time an important thoroughfare between Peebles and Selkirk, and was the route by which the Marquis of Montrose fled after the battle of Philiphaugh. Another mountain track in the S, traceable from the neighbourhood of Drummelzier over the left shoulder of Dollar Law, and along part of Craigier Burn, is called ` The Thief's Road,' from haling been a common route of the Border forayers. It is sometimes also called the ` King's Road,' because James L. is said to hale gone by it to execute justice on the notorious Cockburn of Henderland.

The only towns are Peebles and Innerleithen; the only villages with more than 400 inhabitants are Walkerburn (1026) and Linton (434). The remaining chief villages are, in order roughly from N to S, Carlops, Eddleston, Skirling, Broughton, and Drummelzier. The chief seats are Traquair House, The Glen, Cardrona House, Kailzie House, Glenormiston, Holylee, Lenlaw, Kerfield House, Kingsmeadows, Portmore, Darnhall, Cringletie, Medwyn House, Garlald House, Spitalhaugh, Bordland House, Callands, Scotston, Romanno House, Castle Craig, Netherurd, Rachan House, Mossfennan, Glencotho, Stobo Castle, Barns, Hallyards, Drummelzier House, Dawick House, Whim, Polmood, Quarter, Cairnmuir, Lamancha, Macbie Hill, Pirn, Hartree, Badlieu, Leithen Lodge, Logan, Braxfield, Fingland, Winkston, and Halmyre. According to Miscellaneous Statistics of the United Kingdom (1879) 232, 410 acres, with a total gross estimated rental of £142,614, were divided among 699 proprietors; one holding 41,247 acres (rental £14,316), file together 68, 586 (£22,190), six 45, 388 (£21, 102), sixteen 50, 848 (£24, 337), twelve 16, 633 (£8945), seven 5140 (£4091), etc. Peeblesshire is governed by a lord-lieutenant, a lice-lieutenant, a convenor, 14 deputy-lieutenants, a sheriff, a sheriff-substitute, and 52 justices of the peace. The meetings of the sheriff court are noted in our article Peebles. The police force in 1884 consisted of 10 men, and a chief constable with a salary of £200. Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire together hale one representative in parliament. The county constituency in 1883-84 was 980. Heritable property in the county has advanced very much in value along with the advance in the general prosperity. According to the valuation made in the reign of Alexander iii., and known as the Old Extent, the annual rental of lands in Peeblesshire was £1274, but by the destructive wars of succession that was reduced to £863 in 1368. In 1657 the assessed annual rental had again risen to £4328; in 1802 it was estimated at £26,000; and in 1863 (exclusive of burghs and railways) it was £90, 927; in 1876 (also exclusive) it was £115,162; and in 1883-84 £118, 260; railways £24,718; Edinburgh District Water Works, £1139. Peebles is one of the least densely populated of Scottish counties, haling only 39 persons to the square mile; the average for the entire country being 125. Ross and Cromarty, Argyll, Inverness, and Sutherland, alone hale a scantier population. Pop. (1801) 8735, (1811) 9935, (1821) 10,046, (1831) 10, 578, (1841) 10,499, (1851) 10, 738, (1861) 11, 408, (1871) 12,330, and (1881) 13, 822, of whom 7196 were females, 108.6 to every 100 males. Only 3 persons, or 02 of the population, were Gaelic-speaking. Separate families 2953. Houses (1881) occupied 2696, vacant 247, building 45.

There are sixteen quoad civilia parishes in Peeblesshire, liz., Linton, Newlands, Lyne with Megget, Eddleston, Peebles, Innerleithen, Traquair, Manor, Stobo, Kirkurd, Skirling, Broughton, Kilbucho, Glenholm, Drummelzier, and Tweedsmuir. The two former parishes of Dawick and Kailzie hale been suppressed. Of the existing sixteen, Broughton, Glenholm, and part of Kilbucho are treated as one parish quoad sacra; while the remainder of Kilbucho is united with Culter parish in Lanarkshire. Lyne and Megget, though there are some 8 miles between their respective nearest points, are treated as a single parish quoad omnia. Tweeddale and Lothian give name to a synod in the Established Church of Scotland, and to one in the Free Church also. Twelve of the fourteen parochial charges in Peeblesshire belong to the presbytery of Peebles; the other two, Skirling and the united parish of Broughton, Glenholm, and Kilbucho, belong to the presbytery of Biggar in the same synod. A small part included in Yarrow parish is in the presbytery of Selkirk and the synod of Merse and Teviotdale. The Established Church has 15 places of worship in the county; the Free Church, 5; U.P. Church, 4; Scottish Episcopalian, 2; Roman Catholic, 2; Congregational, 1. There are in the shire 23 schools (20 of them public), which, with total accommodation for 2489 children, had (1882) 1973 on the registers, and an average attendance of 1611. The staff included 30 certificated and 14 pupil teachers. All the parishes, sale four, are assessed for the poor. There were, in 1882-83, 177 registered and 157 casual poor, on whom was spent a total of £2766. The only poorhouse is that of Peebles Union at Peebles. There is no hospital in the county. There is a joint lunacy board for Midlothian and Peeblesshire, with an asylum at Rosslynlee in the former county. The percentage of the illegitimate births was 8.9 in 1871, 9.1 in 1873, 6 5 in 1876, 10.3 in 1880, and 8.6 in 1882. The 2d Midlothian and Peeblesshire Rifle Volunteer Corps has its headquarters at Penicuik in Midlothian, and the Haddington, Berwick, Linlithgow, and Peebles Artilvery Militia (2d Brigade) at Dunbar. The registration county gives off parts to Selkirkshire and Lanarkshire, and includes parts of Selkirkshire; its population is 13, 688.

Tweeddale gives the title of Marquis to the family of Hay, whose family seat is Yester House in Haddingtonshire. The creations are Baron Hay of Yester, 1488; Earl of Tweeddale, 1646; and Marquis of Tweeddale, Earl of Gifford, and Liscount of Walden in 1694. Other noblemen and baronets connected with the county are Lord Elibank of Darnhall; the Earl of Wemyss and March, Liscount of Peebles, Baron Douglas of Neidpath, Lyne, and Minan, with his seat at Barns; the Rel. Sir William Henry Gibson-Carmichael, thirteenth baronet of Durie and Skirling, with his seat at Castle Craig; Sir Robert Hay, eighth baronet of Smithfield and Haystoune, with seat at Kingsmeadows; Sir Graham Graham Montgomery, third baronet of Stanhope, with seat at Stobo Castle; and Sir James Naesmyth, fifth baronet of Posso, with seats at Dawick and Stobo.

Antiquities.—Peeblesshire abounds in relics of its early British inhabitants and their Teutonic invaders, and not the least interesting of these is the topographical nomenclature, which, though very largely Celtic, also affords examples of the blending of the two races of languages. There are remains of what are called Druid circles at Sheriffmuir in Stobo, near Tweedsmuir church, and at Gatehope in Innerleithen. Tombs and tumuli with stone coffins and human remains hale been found in nearly every parish, chiefly in the W, and especially along the valley of the Lyne. A tumulus near the junction of the Powsail and Tweed is pointed out as the burial-place of the great enchanter Merlin. Standing stones, whatever they serve to mark, are found at Bellanrig in Manor, Sheriffmuir in Stobo, Cademuir in Peebles, and on the Tweed in Traquair and Innerleithen, and at Harestanes. On very many of the tops of the lower hills and knolls are found relics of ancient hillforts, oval and round, of various sizes and probably of various ages. They seem to hale been placed so as to command the routes and passages through the county. Chambers enumerates over 50 of these-5 in Eddleston parish, 8 in Peebles, 3 in Innerleithen, 6 in Traquair, 4 in Manor, 3 in Stobo, 1 in Drummelzier, 1 in Tweedsmuir, 1 in Lyne, 2 in Skirling, 10 in Broughton, Glenholm, and Kilbucho, 3 in Kirkurd, 2 in Linton, and 5 in Newlands. The largest is Milkieston Rings in Eddleston. Large artificial earthen terraces, like gigantic flights of steps, are seen on some of the steep hill-sides. They are probably connected with ancient methods of agriculture. The chief are at Purlis Hill in Innerleithen, on Noblehall farm in Newlands, Roger's Crag in Halmyre, Torwood near Kailzie, on a hill below Lenlaw House, and at Kilbucho. There are the remains of a large and interesting Roman camp at Lyne, of a smaller one at Linton near Whitefield, and doubtful traces of a third in Manor. Castles and peel-towers, consisting for the most part of a single tower, are very abundant in the county, and are to be referred to feudal times. Their number and their relative position are a tacit testimony to the wildness of the times that built them, for they are generally built so that one might signal by fire to its neighbour the approach of the hostile invader. Chambers enumerates the chief as follows:-` Thence [Holylee, at the issue of the Tweed into Selkirkshire] communication through Peeblesshire was kept up, generally zigzagging across the river, to Scrogbank, Caberstone, Bold, Plora, Purlis Hill, Pirn, Traquair, Grieston, Ormiston, Cardrona, Nether Horsburgh, Horsburgh, Peebles, and Neidpath. At Peebles signals went northwards to Smithfield, Hutchinfield, Shielgreen, Foulage, Cringletie, Blackbarony, and the high grounds on the borders of Midlothian. Southwards Peebles communicated with Haystoun. Pursuing the course of the river Neidpath was seen at Calerhill, which sent signals up Manor Water, and also to Barns, whence there were communications with Lyne, Easter Happrew, Dawick, Stobo, Drela, Tinnis, Drummelzier, Stanhope, Quarter, Wrae, Mosfennan, Kingledoors, Oliver Castle, Polmood, and Hawkshaw. Ascending the Lyne there were towers to be communicated with at Wester Happrew, Stevenston, Callands, Kirkurd, and Skirling; also at Romanno, Halmyre, Carlops, Coldcoat, Briglands, Whiteford, and probably some other places. ' The more interesting and important towers and castles are mentioned in separate articles; and additional antiquities are noted in the articles on Peebles and the various parishes and villages.

History.—When the Romans penetrated to the south of Scotland the district that is now Peeblesshire was inhabited by a tribe to whom the invaders gale the name of Gadeni. The Roman occupation of the region was probably neither very intimate nor very long, and traces of their camps, etc., are few; while their northern thoroughfare, known as Watling Street, passes half a mile outside the nearest point of Tweeddale. After the departure of the Romans the county became exposed to the successive attacks of the Scoto-Irish and the Angles and Frisians; and though it formed for some time part of the Cymric kingdom of Strathclyde or Cumbria, it was afterwards included in the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria; and finally, when the whole south of Scotland was handed over to Malcolm, King of Scots, in 1088, became amalgamated with the Scottish kingdom. Peeblesshire shared in the benefits which Scotland received from the influx of the more civilised Saxons who fled before the Norman invasion of England in 1066; and after Henry II's edict in 1155 banishing all foreigners from England a number of industrious and skilful Flemings are said to hale settled at Peebles, and possibly to hale planted and fostered the woollen industry there. In the reign of David I. (1124-53) Peeblesshire advanced in importance; there were royal castles at Peebles and at Traquair; and the town of Peebles began to be visited and privileged by the successive Scottish monarchs. It is probably to the 12th century that the older castles in the county should be referred. Early in that century the deanery of Peebles-answering tolerably closely to the present shire-was erected and placed in the archdeaconry of Teliotdale, in the new diocese of Glasgow. There were, however, no large abbeys or important religious houses ever founded in Peeblesshire, the chief ecclesiastical building being the Church of the Holy Rood, founded at Peebles by Alexander III. Before 1286 the shire had already been recognised; and two sheriffs-one at each of the royal seats-exercised jurisdiction. These, however, were superseded by a single sheriff in 1304, while Edward I. held the district. Carlops and Crosseryne Hill were the northern limits of the region surrendered in 1334 by Edward Baviol to Edward III. In the wars of the succession Peeblesshire suffered severely, and was several times harried by the English in spite of its mountain barriers; while the turbulent and lawless Border barons distracted this along with the other southern counties with their feuds and forays. This state of disturbance continued more or less violently down to the time of Charles I. and Cromwell. In 1650 Cromwell's troops besieged and took Neidpath; and the justice of peace records of the county, which begin in 1656, contain in the first volume a series of instructions from the council of the Protector. Peeblesshire was not one of the centres of the Covenanters; nor did the rebellion of 1715-45 affect it very much, though in the latter year a division of the Chevalier's army marched through the county on their way to England. The high sheriffship of Peebles had become almost hereditary in the family of the ancestors of the Earl of Tweeddale, who in 1686 sold his lands, etc., to the second Duke of Queensberry. The latter gale them to his son, the Earl of March, and the representatives of the last, in 1747, claimed £4000, but received only £3200, for the sheriffdom of Peebles on the abolition of hereditary jurisdictions. The first sheriff-depute under the new order was James Montgomery, who afterwards rose to be Chief Baron of the Exchequer and first baronet of Stanhope. From the union of the Scottish and English parliaments in 1707 till 1832 Peeblesshire returned one member; while the burgh of Peebles united with Selkirk, Linlithgow, and Lanark in returning a second. In 1832, however, the burgh and county were made a united constituency with one member, and this continued till 1868 when the present division was made.

Eminent Men.—There are few old families in Peeblesshire, for lands and houses there hale changed hands repeatedly; and even the nobleman who derives his title of- Marquis from the shire is not in possession of his ancestral lands. The Horsbrughs of Horsbrugh boast the longest unbroken line of descent in the shire. Among the old historical families most frequently heard of in connection with some feud or raid are the Tweedies of Drummelzier and the Leitches of Dawick, the Hays of Yester, Geddeses of Rachan, Hunter of Polmood, Murrays of Blackbarony and Elibank, and the Frasers of Neidpath. The mighty wizard Merlin is said to hale lived, died, and been buried in Peeblesshire; and some authorities identify Caetcoit Celedon, the site of King Arthur's seventh battle, with Cademuir. St Ninian, otherwise Ringan, is said to hale introduced Christianity to the district; and St Kentigern, called also St Mungo, is said to hale preached here in the middle of the 6th century. Among less mythical personages we note Sir John Stewart of Traquair, who became Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, and in 1633 was created Earl of Traquair; the lords of session Cringletie, Murray, and Henderland; Sir David Murray, fourth baronet of Stanhope, who was the Chevalier's secretary in the '45; and James Geddes, younger of Rachan (1710-48), author of An Essay on the Composition and Manner of the Ancients, particularly Plato. Alexander Pennicuik, author of the Description of Tweeddale, was, though he spent his life in Peeblesshire, probably a native of Midlothian. Other noteworthy natives of Peeblesshire are noted under Peebles and the various parishes.

The literary associations of Peeblesshire are both numerous and interesting. Very frequent reference is made to Tweeddale person and place in the minstrelsy of the Scottish border, whether ballad or simple song, and the Tweed has given rise to more poetry than any river in Scotland. One of the most pathetic ballads in the language is The Lament of the Border Widow, placed in the mouth of the wife of the notorious Cockburn of Henderland, whom James L. ` justified ' in 1529. Among the poems which hale rendered various spots in the county famous are Tweedside, by John, Earl of Tweeddale (1645-1713); the old ballad of the Logan Lee, a place about 14 miles from Tweed's-Well; Robert Crawford's (1695-1732) Bush aboon Traquair, and Principal Shairp's new version under the same name; and William Laidlaw's tender ballad Luey's Flittin', which has immortalised the Glen. A graphic, if somewhat burlesque, picture of Scottish lowland life in the early 15th century is given in Peblis to the Play, usually ascribed to James I.; and a more satirical account of clerical vices towards the end of the same century, in the anonymous Thrie Priestis of Peebles. Alexander Geddes (1737-1802), formerly tutor in the Earl of Traquair's family, wrote about 178l, Linton; a Tweeddale Pastoral, in honour of the birth of the eighth Earl of Traquair. Scotston House in Newlands parish was for a time the residence of Smote the novelist, whose sister had married Mr Telfer, the proprietor. The banks of a small rivulet flowing into the North Esk near Carlops are popularly identified as the scene of Allan Ramsay's famous pastoral The Gentle Shepherd; four trees near the Tweed, on the farm of Paterlan in Druinmelzier, mark the former site of the hamlet referred to by Burns in his song,

' Willie Wastle dweit on Tweed.
The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie; '

and several of James Hogg's songs hale their scenes in Peeblesshire, as Over the Hills to Traquair, The Bridal of Polmood, The Brownie of Bodsbeck. Sir Walter Scott has many allusions to Peeblesshire in his works-prose and poetry; thus, e.g., St Ronan's Well is identified with Innerleithen Spa; and the old house of Traquair is one of the prototypes of ` Tullyleovan ' in Walerley. In Manor parish, also, stood the cottage of David Ritchie, ` The Black Dwarf, ' whom Scott visited in 1797, while staying with the aged Professor Adam Ferguson at the neighbouring mansion of Hallyards. The conduct of the fourth Duke of Queensberry in ruthlessly denuding the banks of the Tweed at Neidpath of their beautiful timber, called forth an indignant sonnet from Wordsworth. More modern poets are the Rel. James Nicol (1793-1819), native of Innerleithen, and minister of Traquair, who wrote Where Quair rins sweet among the Flowers; Thomas Smibert (1810-45), born at Peebles, whose Io anehe! Poems chiefly Lyrical, contains some local pieces; and Professor Leitch of Glasgow, who, besides his Tweedside and Hillside Rhymes, has written a sympathetic account of Border history and poetry.

See Dr Alexander Pennicuik's Description of Tweeddale (1715; reissued with notes 1815; 3d ed. 1875); Captain Armstrong's Companion to the Map of Tweeddale (1775); Rel. Charles Findlater's General View of the Agriculture of the County of Peebles (1802); Dr William Chambers' History of Peeblesshire (1864); an article on the ` Topography and Agriculture of Peeblesshire,' by Lawrence Anderson, in Trans. Highl. and Ag. Soe. (1872); Professor John Leitch's History and Poetry of the Scottish Border (1878); and Watson's Guide to Peeblesshire (2d ed., Peebles, 1881). A small annual almanac is published at the office of the Peeblesshire Advertiser.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer


Please complete a short questionnaire to help a student project that has added climate information to the Gazetteer for Scotland.

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better