Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Border Run Part#2

Borders scenery

 Oxnam Kirk

 I found some nice quiet backroads (near Oxnam)

Hermitage Castle is a well preserved ruin (if that makes sense) Considered to the spookiest castle in Scotland due to its austere appearance and violent history. Benign enough on a sunny day but it certainly looks able to withstand attack. 

 Newcastleton - a planned village from the 18th century

The FJ straddles the border at Liddel Water

"Reiver" Lang Sandy Armstrong statue near Canonbie. This small town was at one time the centre of the "Debatable Lands". An small area that for over three centuries was under control of neither the Scottish or English governments. And small it certainly was - only about 10 miles by 4 miles.

The families that lived here were known as Reivers - raiders who plundered on both sides of the border. The Debateable Lands were eventually brought under control after the union of the crowns in 1603 under King James VI (of Scotland), I (of England) This is when big Sandy met his end.

***Correction*** It was King James V of Scotland that broke the Reivers' power in 1530.

 Cross Keys Hotel, Canonbie

 River Esk at Longtown

 The River Esk forms the border at Gretna

My run along the border ends at the village of Gretna on the Solway Firth. This place is known for marriages. In 1754 England passed a law requiring parental consent to marry if you were under 21 years of age. In Scotland the marriage age was 14 for boys and 12 for girls - a situation that existed until 1929 - wow! Gretna is on the main London to Glasgow road (and later railway) so was well placed for runaway couples. Even today the marriage laws differ between the nations. In England parental permission is required between the ages of 16 and 18.

The River Esk flows into the Solway Firth

 The FJ at the end of its journey along the border. We would do 325 miles today - no big deal - FJ is fast & comfy and loves eating the miles.

Chips at Gretna - at least I'm washing them down with diet cola.

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