River Esk

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.

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Esk (Cymric wysg, Gael. uisge, ` water '), a river of E Dumfriesshire, formed by the confluence of the Black and White Esks, the former of which rises in the W of Eskdalemuir parish, on the NE slope of Jocks Shoulder, at an altitude of 1600 feet, and thence runs 121/8. miles south-south-eastward, whilst the White Esk, springing from the NE acclivity (2000 feet) of Ettrick Pen, in the N of the same parish, runs 14½ miles south-by-eastward, on the way being joincd by Garwald Water, Moodlaw and Rae Burns, and a number of lesser tributaries. They unite, 490 feet above sea-level, at the SE corner of Eskdalemuir; and from this point the Esk winds 22¼ miles south-eastward, and south-south-eastward through Westerkirk, Langholm, and Canonbic parishes, then for 5 furlongs flows south-south-westward along the English Border, and finally passes off into Cumberland on its way, past Longtown, to the head of the Solway Firth. Its principal affluents, during its Scottish course, are Megget Water, Wauchope Water, Ewes Water, Tarras Water, and Liddel Water, all under charge of the Esk and Liddel Fisheries Association, and all, like itself, affording capital sport. The salmon disease, however, has wrought great havoc here, for, according to a table prepared by the Chief Constable of Dumfriesshire, between 1 Jan. 1881 and 31 March 1882, 422 salmon, 3 sea-trout, 3 herling, 5 parr, and 1 yellow trout were found dead in the Esk and its tributaries, besides 196 salmon and 1 herling that were destroyed as being affected by disease. Its memories, its geology, and its scencry-heathery uplands in its higher reaches, and wooded luxuriant haughs after it passes Langholm-are noticed under Eskdale, Dumfriesshire, and the parishes that it traverses.—Ord. Sur., shs. 16, 10, 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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