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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Westruther, a village and a parish of Berwickshire. The village stands 705 feet above sea-level, 5½ miles N by W of Gordon station, 61/8 WNW of Greenlaw, and 7½ ENE of Lauder, under which it has a post office. The parish, containing also Houndslow village, 17/8 mile S by W, formed part of Hume till the Reformation, and then of Gordon till 1647. It is bounded N and NE by the detached section of Cranshaws, E by Greenlaw, SE by Gordon, SW by Legerwood, and W and NW by Lauder. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 6¼ miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 5 miles; and its area is 22¾ square miles or 14,643¾ acres, of which 13¾ are water. Eden Water flows 2 miles east-north-eastward along the Gordon boundary; Biackadder Water, formed by several head-streams that rise in the N of the parish, winds 21/8 miles south-south-eastward along the Greenlaw boundary; and Boondreigh or Brunta Burn runs 51/8 miles south-south-westward along or close to nearly all the Lauder boundary. Lying debatably between the Lammermuir and Lauderdale districts of Berwickshire, the surface sinks in the SE to 590 feet above sea-level, and rises thence to 785 feet near Hyndberry, 856 near Wedderlie, 1242 at Flass Hill, 1255 at Raecleugh Hill, and 1466 at Twinlaw Cairns near the northern border-bleak, cheerless uplands these last, but commanding brilliant and extensive prospects of the Merse and Teviotdale. Greywacke, often passing into greywacke slate, is the predominant rock in the N, red sandstone in the S. The latter has been largely worked for building material; and slate was quarried at Bruntaburn about the beginning of the present century. The soil of the arable lands varies much both in depth and in quality, and comprises clay, loam, gravel, and moorish mould, being mostly light and incumbent on a rocky or gravelly subsoil. Nearly 1000 acres are under wood; about 180 are in a state of moss; and the rest is either arable or pastoral. Antiquities, other than those noticed under Evelaw and Gibb's Cross, are the huge Twinlaw Cairns, faint vestiges of two camps on Raecleugh farm and Harelaw Muir, and sites or remains of three pre-Reformation chapels and several peel-towers. The two cairns are said to commemorate the death, by each other's hands, of the twin-brothers Edgar, who, ignorant of their kinship, resolved to settle by single combat the battle impending between the Scots and the Saxon invaders. A ballad, entitled the Battle of Twinlaw, the worst perhaps that was ever composed, is quoted in the New Statistical Account (1834) as having ` been known here for at least a century and a half.' John Veitch, the brother of that William Veitch, whose Life was written by M 'Crie, and himself a preacher of great eminence, was a heritor in Westruther, and its first minister. He died in 1703. Estates, noticed separately, are Spottiswoode, Bassendean, and Wedderlie; and the first includes more than the half of the parish, 5 lesser ones having a value of from £350 to £1350 per annum. Westruther is in the presbytery of Earlston and the synod of Merse and Teviotdale; the living is worth £158, 6s. 8d. The parish church, built in 1840, contains 380 sittings. A Free church contains 270 sittings; and the public school, with accommodation for 128 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 66, and a grant of £51, 12s. Valuation (1865) £7212, 16s. 11d., (1885) £8761, 7s. 8d. Pop. (1801) 779, (1831) 830, (1861) 786, (1871) 784, (1881) 671.—Ord. Sur., sh. 25, 1865.

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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