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Liddel Water

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, 2002-2016.

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Liddel Water, a Border stream of Roxburgh and Dumfries Shires, formed by the confluent Caddroun, Wormscleuch, and Peel Burns, at an altitude of 650 feet above sea-level, amid the great bog called Dead Water, 1 ½ mile ENE of Saughtree station. Thence it flows 15 ¼ miles south-south-westward through Castleton parish, next 11 ½ miles along the English Border, having Castleton and Canonbie parishes on its right bank and Cumberland on its left; till, after a descent of 545 feet, it falls into the Esk at a point 12 miles N of Carlisle and 7 ¾ S by E of Langholm. It is fed by a score of affluents, the chief of them Hermitage Water and Kershope Burn. For 10 miles from its source its banks are bleak and naked - in most places a mountain gorge or glen; but afterwards they spread out in a beautiful though narrow valley, carpeted with fine verdure, adorned with beautiful plantations, and screened by picturesque heights. In all the lower part of its course, its banks are sylvan, picturesque, and at intervals romantic; and, at a cataract called Penton Linns, 3 miles from the confluence with the Esk, they are wildly yet beautifully grand. Stupendous rocky precipices, which fall sheer down to the bed of the stream, and wall up the water within a narrow broken channel, along the Scottish side have a terrace-walk carried along a ledge, and affording a view of the vexed and foaming stream, lashed into foam among the obstructing rocks; and they are fringed with a rich variety of exuberant copsewood. In the middle of the cataract rises from the river's bed a solitary large rock crowned with shrubs, whose broken and wooded summit figures majestically in a conflict with the roaring waters during a high flood. At its confluence with the Esk a sort of promontory is formed, on which stand the ruins of a fort, called in the district the Strength of Liddel. Its salmon and trout fishing is good, but like the Esk ithas been affected by the salmon disease.—Ord. Sur., shs. 17, 11, 1864-63.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

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

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