Parish of Eckford

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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1791-99: Eckford
1834-45: Eckford

Eckford, a village and a parish of lower Teviotdale, Roxburghshire. The village stands, 200 feet above sea-level, near the right bank of the Teviot, 1½ mile SE of Kirkbank station, 6 ¼ miles NE of Jedburgh, and 5¾ miles S by W of the post-town Kelso. The parish, containing also the hamlets of Kirkbank, Cessford, and Caverton, is bounded NW by Roxburgh, N by Kelso and Sprouston, E by Linton and Morebattle, SE by Hounam, S and SW by Jedburgh, and W by Crailing. Its greatest length, from N by E to S by W, is 6 5/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 4 5/8 miles; and its area is 10,097 1/3 acres, of which 99¾ are water. The Teviot, entering from Crailing, winds 2½ miles northward through the western interior; and its affluent Kale Water, in many `a loop and link,' runs 4½ miles west-north-westward, nearly through the centre of the parish. To the S of the village is a small loch (2 by ¾ furl.), containing tench, perch, trout, and splendid eels. The surface sinks in the NW along the Teviot to 180 feet above sea-level, thence rising southward and eastward to 260 near Kirkbank station, 606 at Bowmont Forest, 481 at Caverton Hill, 651 at Wooden Hill, 754 at Bank Hill, and 800 in the furthest Sheights that command extensive views of the beautiful country around. Trap and sandstone are the predominant rocks, and have been worked in several quarries. The soil, on the low grounds in the W, is a lightish mould; on the higher grounds towards the S, is clayey; and elsewhere is extremely various, sometimes even on the same farm, but generally fertile. About three-fourths of the entire area are in cultivation; 800 acres are under wood; and the rest of the land is pastoral or waste. The Kale is here spanned by two stone bridges; the Teviot by a suspension-bridge, 180 feet long and 16 wide. The ruins of Cessford Castle are the chief antiquity; but old peel-houses stood at Eckford, Ormiston, Wooden Hill, and the Moss; whilst several stone coffins, a Roman urn, and a Roman coin have been found. Haughhead estate belonged, in the reign of Charles II., to that zealous Covenanter, Hobbie or Henry Hall, and was the place where Richard Cameron received his licence to preach the gospel. A deep ravine in the eastern part of the course of Kale Water was the scene of frequent assemblies of the persecuted for wor ship; and several artificial caves, a little farther down, were used by them as retreats from danger. Sir William Bennet, the intimate friend of the poets Thomson and Ramsay, was born at Marlefield, and spent the greater part of his life in the parish. By some he has been deemed the prototype of Ramsay's `Sir William Worthy;' and a sequestered spot, within a short distance of Marlefield, traversed by a runnel flowing to the Kale, has been falsely claimed for the genuine `Habbie's Howe.' Sawmills are at Bowmont Forest and Teviotfoot. Kirkbank is the only mansion; and most of the property is divided between the Dukes of Buccleuch and Roxburghe, 3 lesser landowners holding each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500, and 1 from £50 to £100. Eckford is in the presbytery of Jedburgh and synod of Merse and Teviotdale; the living is worth £353. The church, erected in 1662, retains its old iron jougs, and contains 300 sittings. Two public-schools, Caverton Mill and Eckford, with respective accommodation for 93 and 100 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 56 and 64, and grants of £32, 8s. and £52, 5s. Valuation (1864) £10,751, 4s. 11d., (1882) £13,735, 15s. 3d. Pop. (1801) 973, (1831) 1148, (1861) 957, (1871) 931, (1881) 912.Ord. Sur., shs. 25, 17, 1865-67.

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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