'Every valley has its battle, and every stream its song' Walter ScottFor three hundred years the reivers' country of the Border was an enclave between England and Scotland with its own laws, its own ethics, and an economy based on theft, blackmail and kidnapping for ransom. Over moorland and bog, through the passes of Cheviot and the fords of the Tyne, the reivers rode 60 miles in an autumn night. A skirmish at dawn with lances and the long-shafted Jedburgh axe; then back again with the stolen cows, with the smoke of burning thatch behind them.This book explores in words and photographs the beauty of the Border - on both the English and Scottish sides - where the memory of those terrible centuries lingers on. As well as its battle, every valley boasts its 'bastle' or fortified farmhouse, its pele tower or grim border fortress.Award-winning writer and local resident Ronald Turnbull transports the reader in history and pictures through Ettrick and Yarrow, Liddesdale and Redesdale, Teviot and Tweed. Along the big rivers, thickets of hogweed spring tall as reivers' lances, and the fields are splashed with lurid gorse. Above are bleak moorlands, and the wild, high Cheviot hills.
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22 Scottish West March
30 The Debateable Lands
40 English West March
50 Scottish Middle March
58 Cheviot Hills
74 English Middle March
82 Scottish East March: The Merse
92 English East March
98 Looking Back Along The Border
106 Further Reading
Highly readable book
[Turnball's] wit, gorgeous photography and colourful insights into history combine to make this a fascinating read.
Photographs of lochs, wildlife, scenery and monuments certainly bring the history to life, and all add up to a great read for anyone interested in history
Specialist but nonetheless well researched and an interesting read.