Newcastleton, Scottish Borders.

This evening, I am focusing on the pleasant small town of Newcastleton which is located in Liddesdale (valley of the River Liddel) in the Scottish Borders and just a few miles north of the border with England.

Unusually for Scotland, Newcastleton is a planned village which came into existence around 1793 for the purpose of engaging in various aspects of the textile industry including products made from flax, wool and cotton. The principal sponsor of this scheme was the Duke of Buccleuch whose descendant still controls vast tracts of the local landscape today.

I recent times Newcastleton has developed its tourism potential which spans a range of activities and events including:

  • Traditional music festival.
  • A common riding (bicycle) event.
  • Holm Show.
  • Tour of Britain Cycle Race.
  • Mountain Biking.

However, Newcastleton  also sits in the heart of the former ‘Border Reivers’ country which makes the town ideally suited as a base or stopping point for those wishing to connect with the ‘Reivers Trail’. By way of a brief background summary, for a period of about 300 years up to the early 1600s, the lands close to the Anglo-Scottish border were lawless and dominated by powerful families such as the Graemes, Armstrongs, Elliots and Bells who raided equally in both Scotland and England.

Upon unification the crowns of England and Scotland in 1603, King James VI (Scotland) and 1st (England) initiated a ruthless pacification programe entailing the hunting down and execution of wanted men. This policy proved successful and thereafter the area became increasingly peaceful. However, the legacy of the reiving era remains and within close proximity to Newcastleton can be found such important sites as:

All the above sites having featured in my Reivers tours.

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