Horses at Mangerton Tower

This morning, I collected tour guests from central Edinburgh, Scotland at 0915 and embarked on a trip to the Scottish Borders as follows:

First stop at Johnstons of Elgin, Hawick. This company specialises in cashmere and fine woollen products. We availed of refreshments here and visited the showroom.

Johnstons of Elgin Showroom..

Next to the village of Teviothead where we visited the Celtic Goldsmith showroom.

Celtic Goldsmith

Next, to nearby Carlenrig, This the site where King James V had Johnnie Armstrong and fifty followers executed by hanging in 1530 in context of an initiative to control the unruly Borders region.

Next to the small town of Langholm: Here we called in at the Eskdale Hotel where we visited the Clan Armstrong Exhibition together with information on the Border Reivers.

Eskdale Hotel

Next Gilnockie Tower, Canonbie for 1.00pm. This 16th century tower is the only survivor from around 60-80 stone or wooden towers in the region of Eskdale. Ewesdale and Liddesdale. It is under care of Clan Armstrong due to historic Armstrong connection. An enthusiastic and well-informed local tour guide provided access and information. A renovation programme of this historic building is well underway.

Inside Gilnockie Tower

Gilnockie Tower

Next to the village of Rowanwanburn: Here we viewed the prominent sandstone sculpture of Lang Sandy.

Lang Sandy

Next to Ettleton Cemetery and Milnholm Cross These sites are just south of Newcastleton.The cemetery includes a wall where a collection of rescued headstones has been assembled many of which are believed to have Armstrong provenance. The Milnholm Cross was erected to the memory of Alexander, the 2nd Chief of the Armstrong Clan. There is speculation that Alexander was buried under the Cross in 1320.

Armstrong Wall.

Milnholm Cross

Next to Mangerton Tower. This was residence of the Armstrong chiefs throughout the 16th century. The Tower measures 10.4m from NE to SW by 7.7m transversely over a wall 1.55m thick. The interior is filled with rubble. An armorial panel bears the date 1563 below which is a shield displaying a chevron over a lozenge and a sword flanked by the initials SA and EF.

Mangerton Tower

Next to Tourneyholm near Kershopefoot. This open site is close to both the English border and River Liddel. This was a site for settling disputes during the Reiver period via combat and/or negotiation. Unfortunately, the wet conditions underfoot prevented access.

Finally, we returned to Edinburgh where we duly arrived at 6.30pm. We achieved most of our objectives but the trip was hampered by intermittent rain.

Be Sociable, Share!