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Parish of Hownam

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: Hounam
1834-45: Hounam

Hounam, a Border village and parish of E Roxburghshire. The village stands on the right bank of Kale Water, at the base of gentle rising-grounds, 4¼ miles S by E of Morebattle, 9 E of Jedburgh station, and 11 SSE of the post-town, Kelso.

The parish is bounded N and NE by Morebattle, SE by Northumberland, S, SW, and W by Oxnam, and NW by Jedburgh and Eckford. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 7 miles ; its utmost breadth is 5¼ miles ; and its area is 15,107¼ acres, of which 33¼ are water. Kale Water here winds 8½ miles north-by-eastward-. first 1 mile along the boundary with Oxnam, next 5¾ miles through the interior, then 1¾ mile on or close to the Morebattle border ; and here it is joined by half a dozen burns. Along it, in the extreme N, the surface sinks to 390 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 1472 feet at conical Hounam Law, 1046 at Chesterhouse Hill, 1117 at Windy Law, 1152 at Chatto Hill, 1289 at Whitestone Hill, 1844 at *Beefstand Hill, 1676 at *Lamb Hill, 1573 at *Blackhall Hill, and 1388 at Woden Hill, where asterisks mark those summits of the Cheviot watershed that culminate right on the English border. Round verdant hills these, that give the parish a diversified aspect of waving elevations, intersected with numerous deep narrow dells and charming romantic vales. The north-western border is comparatively low and level ; yet even it is interspersed with several rising-grounds. The rocks are chiefly porphyritic, and contain jaspers, agates, grey amethysts, and rock crystals. The soil in the bottom of the vales is mostly either alluvium or light sandy loam ; on the lower hills is chiefly a sandy gravel ; and on parts of the higher hills is moorish or mossy. Most of the land serves only for pasture, maintaining large flocks of Cheviot sheep. Less than one-eighteenth of the entire area is in tillage or in meadow ; whilst rather more than 100 acres is under wood. Ancient Caledonian standing stones are numerous ; cairns or barrows are in several places ; the Roman road called Watling Street forms for 4 miles the western boundary, and adjoins there vestiges of several camps and semicircular entrenchments ; a large well-preserved Roman camp is on Hounam Law ; traces of a very extensive fortification, called the Rings, are on the farm of Hounam Mains ; eminences of the kind called moats are in two places ; and ruins of Border peels are at Chester House and Heatherlands. Greenhill is the only mansion ; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 3 of less, than £500. Hounam is in the presbytery of Jedburgh and synod of Merse and Teviotdale ; the living is worth £327. The church at the village, repaired in 1844, contains 180 sittings ; and a public school, with accommodation for 43 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 43, and a grant of £53, 10s. Valuation (1860) £6908, (188y) £8667, 4s. 8d. Pop. (1801) 372, (1831) 260, (1861) 289, (1871) 238, (1881) 263.—Ord. Sur., shs. 18, 17, 1863-64.

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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