Leader 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.

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Leader Water, a stream of W Berwickshire chiefly, but partly also of NW Roxburghshire. Rising as Kelphope Burn at an altitude of 1375 feet on the southern slope of Lammer Law, just within Haddingtonshire, it thence runs 21¼ miles south -south-eastward through or along the borders of Channelkirk, Lauder, Legerwood, Melrose, Earlston, and Merton parishes, till, after a total descent of 1160 feet, it falls into the Tweed near Drygrange, 2 miles E by N of Melrose town. Its upper course, among the Lammermuirs, lies through bleak hilly scenery; its middle and lower course through a pleasant vale, flanked with hills, swells, and plains. Its current is generally brisk, and its waters afford as good trout-fishing as any almost in Scotland. Some of the scenes along its banks are celebrated in the old song of Leader Haughs and Yarrow; and it was on the hills surrounding its upper vale that St Cuthbert, whilst tending his flock, beheld the vision which led him to embrace the religious life.—Ord. Sur., shs. 33, 25, 1863-65.

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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