Rubers Law


A conical hill of the SE Scottish Borders Council Area, Rubers Law (or Ruberslaw) lies to the south of the valley of Teviotdale, 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Denholm and 5 miles (8 km) east of Hawick. Situated in splendid isolation, this prominent landmark reaches a height of 424m (1391 feet). There is an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar at its summit, which offers fine views in all directions.

Geologically, Rubers Law represents the remnants of a Lower Carboniferous volcano that has risen through earlier Old Red Sandstone sediments, with the rocks at the summit having formed as a volcanic vent plugged with basalt lava, which may have ponded as a lava lake.

An early Iron Age hill-fort on its summit was most-likely re-occupied by the Romans and fortified once again during the Dark Ages. The site was investigated in 1905 by the noted archaeologist A.O. Curle (1866 - 1955) who identified two defended citadels surrounded by an outer wall at a lower elevation. These walls are now reduced to low mounds. The evidence for a Roman structure are the numerous dressed red sandstone blocks, of a distinctively Roman form, which were re-used in the ramparts surrounding the summit and have subsequently fallen from these ramparts. Whatever was here would be an extremely rare example of a stone-built Roman structure in Scotland and, although it has been presumed to be a signal station, elsewhere these are usually built of wood and do not survive. Fine examples of these stones, together with bronze vessels found on the site in 1863, are now held by the Wilton Lodge Museum in Hawick.

The Covenanters are known to have held outdoor services here, at least one addressed by Alexander Peden (c.1626-86). A memorial plaque was attached to the rock near the summit in 2000 by the people of the surrounding parishes to commemorate the birth of Christ and the Christians who have worshipped here over the years. The Borders Abbeys Way cuts across its northern slopes, between Denholm and Bedrule.

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