Parish of Drumelzier

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: Drummelzier
1834-45: Drummelzier

Drummelzier, a decayed village and a parish of SW Peeblesshire. The village, standing upon Powsail Burn, ¾ mile above its influx to the Tweed, is 2½ miles SE of Broughton station, 8 ESE of its post-town Biggar, 3 WSW of Stobo station, and 9½ WSW of Peebles. The parish included Tweedsmuir till 1643, and since 1742 has comprehended the southern and larger portion of the old parish of Dawick. It is bounded N by Stobo, E by Manor, SE by the Megget section of Lyne, S by Tweedsmuir, and W by Crawford and Culter in Lanarkshire and by Broughton. In outline rudely resembling a boot, with heel at SE and toe at SW, it has an utmost length of 11½ miles from its north-eastern angle near Stobo station to its south-western near Coomb Dod, an utmost breadth from E to W of 61/8 miles, and an area of 18,029½ acres, of which 81 are water. For 5¾ miles the silver Tweed, entering from Tweedsmuir 3 furlongs below Crook inn, meanders north-by-eastward across the south-western interior and on or close to the boundary with Broughton, next for 33/8 miles east-by-northward along most of the Stobo border. During this course it falls from about 740 to 590 feet above sea-level, and is joined by five streams that rise in Drummelzier-Polmood Burn (running 4 miles WNW, mostly along the Tweedsmuir border), Kingledoors Burn (5¾ miles NE), Stanhope Burn (4½ miles WNW), Carton Burn (2¼ miles W by N), and Powsail Burn (11/8 mile NW), this last being formed by Drummelzier Burn (2¾ miles NW) and Scrape Burn (2¼ miles WNW). The surface sinks, then, to 590 feet at the north-eastern angle of the parish, and rises thence southward and south-westward to * Breach Law (1684 feet), Scawd Law (1658), Den Knowes (1479), Finglen Rig (1295), Dulyard Brae (1609), the * Scrape (2347), *Pykestone Hill (2414), Drummelzier Law (2191), Glenstivon Dod (2256), Craig Head (1550), * Long Grain Knowe (2306), Taberon Law (2088), * Dollar Law (2680), Lairdside Knowe (1635), Polmood Hill (1548), Birkside Law (1951), Hunt Law (2096), Dun Rig (2149), *Dun Law (2584), * Cramalt Craig (2723), and *Broad Law (2723), on the right or E side of the Tweed; and, on the left, to Quilt Hill (1087), *Glenlood Hill (1856), Nether Oliver Dod (1673), * Coomb Hill (2096), * Glenwhappen Rig (2262), Hillshaw Head (2141), and * Coomb Dod (2082), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the borders of the parish. These big brown hills fill nearly all the parish; only to the NW the Plain of Drummelzier, a fertile alluvial haugh, extends for about 2 miles along the Tweed, being, it is said, the largest level space on the river above Kelso. The rocks are mainly Lower Silurian, and include some workable slate and a mass of compact and very white limestone. The soil is rich loam on the haughs, and elsewhere is generally sharp and strong. The entire area is either pastoral or waste, with the exception of barely 700- acres in tillage and a little over 400 under wood, the latter chiefly on the Dawick estate. Drummelzier Castle, crowning a rocky knoll on the Tweed, 1 mile SW of the church, is a sheltered fragment of the 16th century fortalice of the head of the Tweedie sept; and on the top of a high pyramidal mount, 3½ furlongs E by N of the church, are vestiges of the more ancient Tinnies or Thanes Castle, demolished by order of James VI. in 1592. 'At the side of the Powsail Burn,' to quote from Pennicuik's Description of Tweediale (1715), 'a little below the churchyard, the famous prophet Merlin is said to be buried. The particular place of his grave, at the foot of a thorn tree, was shown me, many year ago, by the old and reverend minister of the place, Mr Richard Brown; and here was the old prophecy fulfilled, delivered in Scotch rhyme to this purpose: ' "When Tweed and Powsail meet at Merlin's grave. Scotland and England shall one monarch have;" for the same day that our King James the Sixth was crowned King of England, the river Tweed, by an extraordinary flood, so far overflowed the banks, that it met and joined with Powsail at the said grave, which was never before observed to fall out, nor since that time.' Dawick House is the chief mansion; and the property is divided among five. Drummelzier is in the presbytery of Peebles and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £319. St Cuthbert's chapel, in the upper part of the strath of Kingledoors, has disappeared; the present church, at the village, contains nearly 200 sittings; and a public school, with accommodation for 44 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 31, and a grant of £40,15s. 6d. Valuation (1881) £4579, 13s. 3d. Pop. (1801) 278, (1831) 223, (1861) 209, (1871) 221, (1881) 208.—Ord. Sur., sh. 24,1864.

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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