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Scot's Dyke


(Scot's Dike)

A substantial linear earthwork located 2½ miles (4 km) southwest of Canonbie and 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Gretna, Scot's Dyke (sometimes Scot's Dike) was built in 1552 to divide the so-called Debatable Lands on the border between England and Scotland. Today, the dyke comprises a low bank running through woodland between the River Sark in the west and the River Esk in the east. The border still follows its line. Having been argued over for centuries, the area had become lawless and eventually the civil authorities demanded action. The French Ambassador was asked to determine a definitive border and he led a commission which included Sir Thomas Chaloner and Lord Wharton from England, together with Sir James Douglas (d.1578) and Richard Maitland of Lethington (1496 - 1586) appointed from Scotland.


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