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Mediaeval Roads: Evidence from Monastic Charters

The maps below are based on the 1904 one-inch map for Jedburgh, the 1914 half-inch map for North Berwick, Berwick upon Tweed and Selkirk and the 1922 quarter-inch map. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.
Links are provided to appropriate references. More precise dates for the Kelso and Dryburgh charters can be found on Glasgow University's Scottish Charters Project website.

Ednam Shotton & Colpenhope Makerston Rashawe Hassenden Melrose - south of Tweed
Redden Molle Hermitage Fairnington Ashkirk Melrose - north of Tweed
Hauden Primside Hownam Maxton Lessudden
Sprouston Cliftun Grubbeshead Lilliesleaf Bowden  
A large number of monastic charters for Roxburghshire have survived. Melrose and Kelso abbeys were particularly favoured with grants in this area.

EdnamReddenHaudenShotton & ColpenhopesPrimside & CliftonMolleHownamRashawClennell Street and The StreetRoad from Molle to RoxburghHounam to MelroseSelkirk to JedburghAnnandale road and Newtun to Roxburghmap of roads in Melrose parishElliston to Bowden
From the charters examined so far there are some interesting findings. At Ednam near Kelso there was a road running to Kelso and to Sprouston ford. Tenants at Reddon were required to take corn to Berwick and return with salt and coal which shows there was a route to Berwick. At nearby Hadden there was a road to Carham where the Tweed could be crossed. Near Hadden there was a Prestre-bridge though the associated route is uncertain.

At Kirk Yetholm, a road ran into England and there was a bridge at the border. The road no doubt would have gone to Kirknewton and Wooler and beyond. In the direction of Kelso it is interesting to see that a parish boundary runs along a short stretch of road which may relate to the likelihood of the road from England continuing to Roxburgh. From Kirk Yetholm there was a road leading into England along the line of today's Pennine Way. It is thought that Kirk Yetholm was part of a lost Anglian "shire" dating from the 7th century so it is quite possible that these roads existed at that time.

South of here, in the present day Morebattle and Hounam parishes, Kelso and Melrose were gifted extensive lands around Mow and Hounam. These are in two parallel valleys, the Bowmont and the Kale, on a north-south alignment. Both valleys had roads, with one running to Roxburgh and one running to Melrose through Eckford, and it is likely that the roads ran high up in the valleys given the number of settlements and cultivation terraces to be found there. In fact, the road in the Bowmont valley is known as Clennell Street and runs over the border to Clennell and Alswinton in Northumberland. As it partly forms the parish boundary there, it is of mediaeval date at least but its other name of Emspeth indicates that it is much older.

There was a road between Mow and Hounam, and in the case of The Street, an example of a road forming the parish boundary. It continues into Northumberland as does Dere Street.

In the Lilliesleaf area, a road came from Selkirk and went on to Jedburgh. In Maxton parish there was a road between St Boswells and Roxburgh and a via regia that ran from Roxburgh down to Annandale. In part it followed the Craik Cross Roman road. Although not included here, it is likely that a road ran from Jedburgh to Roxburgh. At Bowden a short road ran from Elliston to the village.

In Melrose parish, a large number of roads are mentioned. Chief amongst these was Malcolmesrode thought to have been made by Malcolm II or Malcolm III (Canmore) to help consolidate newly won territory in the border region. An interesting question is whether it is Dere Street or if that lay a mile or two to the east.

Other interesting roads are one from Lauder to Birkenside which may have continued to Roxburgh, a road to Windydoors running across the centre of the territory, and the Girthgate.

Kelso abbey was given two and a half ploughgates of land:
Kelso Abbey "near the limits of their land of Kelso, on the north side of the petary of Ednam, reaching thence along the boundary of the parishes to the southern bounds of Newton, and thence along the said bounds to the river Eden, and along the Eden to the bridge on the west side of Ednam, and thence to the road leading to the hospital (NMRS record), at the forking of the road which comes from the north side of the petary, and thence along the road to the place first mentioned; with the pasturage of a piece of ground between the petary and the bounds of Kelso."
They were also granted a half ploughgate:
"on the east side of the quarry belonging to the abbey, between the 14 acres of Paganus de Bosseville (granted to the abbey and lying in Ednam), the hospital land, the petary, and the road leading to Sprouston ford.
" (from Monastic Annals)
Monastic Annals, page 113; Liber Kelso, charter 14, page 18

Ednam lies a couple of miles NNE of Kelso and the hospital about one mile south of Ednam on the Kelso road.

Unlike today, the parish boundary used to run a short distance north of the hospital then directly north-westwards to the Eden Water, passing south of Sydenham House. It is possible that the petary was in this area just west of Sydenham House as this could fit the charter description of following the parish boundary to the Eden.

The bridge to the west of Ednam is clear enough as is the road running to the hospital, and it is likely enough that it ran between Kelso and Ednam. The rest of the description is a little ambiguous but it seems that a road ran from the north side of the petary to join the road to the hospital, presumably very close to Ednam itself.

There was a ford just upriver from Sprouston but without more definite information it is difficult to identify the road that ran to the ford.
Starting with David I, several grants were made to Kelso abbey of lands at Reddon, about 4 miles NE of Kelso on the south side of the Tweed.
In summer, each tenant had to travel to Berwick weekly with a horse carrying corn, and return with salt or coal. This was later commuted to a monetary payment.
Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.1, page 439; Monastic Annals, page 114; Liber Kelso, page 456

Reddon is to be identified with the present day farm of Reddon about 4 miles NE of Kelso and just south of the River Tweed (see Derek Hall, Scottish Monastic Landscapes, Tempus Publishing, 2006, page 157). The Hauden mentioned in the Monastic Annals is the hamlet of Hadden, a mile or so SE of Reddon rather than Hounam (sometimes Howden), 11 miles to the south.

The journeys to Berwick imply crossing the Tweed, perhaps at a local ford or at Carham to pick up a road to Berwick on the north side of the Tweed. To reach Kelso, it may have been easier to cross near Sprouston but this is not certain.

Hauden, or Hadden
A charter of Bernard de Hauden confirmed earlier grants to the abbey and added:
  "eight acres and a rood, lying contiguous to their property, on the east side of Hauden, on both sides of the road to Carram, between Blindewelle, and another spring next the acre called Croc." (Monastic Annals)

Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol. I, page 440; Monastic Annals, page 114/5; Liber Kelso, charter 217, page 178

Hadden is the present day hamlet of Hadden, 4 miles ENE of Kelso. Although the Blindewelle and Croc cannot now be identified, Carram must be Carham one and a half miles to the north.

One would imagine a relatively straight road to Carham where the Tweed could be crossed and very probably give access to a road to Berwick on the north side of the Tweed.

In a charter of Malcolm IV dated 1159 there is a mention of Prestre-bridge.
Monastic Annals, page 115; Liber Kelso, Charter of Malcolm IV, page iv

There is a Pressen Burn that runs in a south-westerly direction from Pressen down to the English border at Pressenhill and partly forms the parish boundary of Sprouston. While it is likely that the Pressen Burn is the Prestre, there is no certainty that the bridge was at either of these places.

Shotton and Colpinhopes
A charter from the time of Alexander II gave Kelso Abbey:

Area near Shotton"5 acres in Schottun in Northumberland, on the west side of the road, beside the burn which divides England and Scotland, near Yetholm."
Two other charters relate to a grant of Colpinhopes, the boundaries of which ran:
"from Edredsete to Grengare, under Edredsete, and to the bridge at the head of the brook, which divides England from Scotland, and down this brook, towards the chapel of St Edeldrida the virgin, to another brook which runs down by Homeldun, and then up this brook to a glen, where the brook comes to Homeldun, across the way which comes from Jetam, and along this way to the two great stones." (Monastic Annals)

Monastic Annals, page 117; Liber Kelso, charter 364, page 292; charter 361, page 288; The Kingdom of the Scots, G W S Barrow, 1973, page 27&c ; The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, Vol. III, 1859, page 230ff

The present day farm of Shotton lies just over the border about a mile north of Kirk Yetholm, and there would seem no reason to doubt that a road ran along this valley much as today.

Colpinhopes is more difficult to identify as some of the placenames are not shown on early maps, although it was in this general area. Barrow, in Kingdom of the Scots, shows it just east of Shotton Hill, (map, page 28). St Edeldrida's chapel is sited a few hundred metres up the Shotton Burn from where today's road crosses the border. From the chapel, the boundary would have gone southwards by the Halter Burn then Shielknowe Burn under Green Humbleton where there is a path today leading from Yethholm (Jetam) up to the Stob Stones, which Jeffrey surmises may be the two great stones (Jeffrey, page 232).

Colpenhopes area
Colpenhopes area (Coldharbour Hill)
If correct, this is a route that would allow access into several parts of Northumberland and certainly Kirknewton and Wooler. Barrow's remarks about a lost "shire" of Yetholm that may go back to the 7th century or even earlier are highly interesting. This shire, which included Shotton, consisted of 12 vills and was one of 6 estates in Bernicia (Northumberland and Lothian) gifted by King Oswy to either Holy Island or Melrose (the precursor of the mediaeval monastery) in 655AD. In principle, this offers the possibility of reconstructing the routes that existed in this "shire", and others noted by Barrow (see also Early Mediaeval Glendale on Northumberland National Park website).

Four abbeys, Kelso, Melrose, Paisley and Jedburgh, held lands in Moll. The charters for the first three of these refer to roads and fords and are listed below.

1. Kelso Abbey
Eschina de Londoniis, wife of Henry of Molle gave a charter of confirmation in 1185 of the church of Molle and of lands. In the charter the land of Hethou (Elliesheugh) is described thus:
  "As the water descends from the fountain along Bradestrother between Hethou and Favesyde, and as far as the rivulet that descends from Westerhethoudene - and so along that rivulet as far as the passage of the upper ford of the same rivulet next to Cracg - and so across Hathoudene eastwards as the crosses have placed, and the ditches have been made, and the furrow has been drawn, and the stones have been set, as far as the rivulet of Esterhathou - and from the ford of the same rivulet ascending as the wood and arable land meet above Halreberghe..." OPS, Vol. I, page 419
Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.I, page 419; Monastic Annals, page 119; Liber Kelso, charter 175, page 144

Although Hethou may have been Ellieshaugh, the placenames are so intractable that little can be said of this charter.

Around the same time, Anselm of Molle granted Kelso
  "all the land and meadow and wood in the territory of Molle which was on the east side of Ernbrandesden, namely, from the bounds of the lands of the monks of Mailros by the direct path as far as Ernbrandesdene - and so by Ernbrandesdene as far as the ford of the Bolbent......." OPS, Vol.I, page 419
Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.I, page 419; Monastic Annals, page 118; Liber Kelso, charter 154, page 123

Again, the placenames are difficult. However, there were fords over the Bolbent (Bowmont Water) at Mow itself and downstream at the church.

Uctred of Molle granted Kelso the church of Molle with some adjacent land which had these boundaries:

"namely, from Hulaueshou (Elliesheugh) as far as its rivulet, and from there by Hulaueshou as far as the ford of Bolebent, opposite the church, and from that ford upwards as far as Hulaueshou, and from there by the road as far as Hunedune, and from there to the head of the Hulaueshou."
Scilicet, ab Hulaueshou usque ad rivum ejus, et a rivo per Hulaueshou usque ad vadum Bolebent, contra ecclesiam, et a vado illo, sursum versus, usque ad Hulaueshou, et inde per via usque ad Hunedune, et inde usque ad capud rivi Hulaueshou.

Image:near Molle (present-day Mowhaugh)

Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.1, page 413; Monastic Annals, page 118; Liber Kelso, charter 176, page 144

The church is thought to have been sited about half a mile north of Mow where there was a ford. As the charter implies, the lands would have extended from the church to Elliesheugh. The reference to Hunedune is a bit puzzling if it refers to Howden some three miles distant although if it meant the road that goes to Howden it would be much more localised (another charter refers to there being a road between Moll and Howden and another to a road north from Moll which could be what this is referring to). The rivulet might be the Cote Burn, Holywell Sike or even the stream above the church on the east side of the Bowmont Water.
In the mid-1200's Cecilia of Molle gave Kelso 13 acres of arable land at Mollestele, and:

"that part of her land which lay next the rivulet descending from Brademedue as far as the Bolbent, and half an acre called Crokecroft next the road that led to Persouth..."




Image: Clennell Street at Cocklawfoot

Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.1, page 420; Liber Kelso, charters 148/150, pages 115,119

JSM Macdonald (Placenames of Roxburghshire, page 30) says that Mollestele means "the cattle field at Molle." It is likely enough that it was in the vicinity of the settlement. The 1:25000 map shows numerous cultivation terraces in the area and these together with the mention of a rivulet running into Bowmont Water suggest that Brademedue could have been by the Hall Burn, Belford Syke or Calroust Burn. Persouth does not appear on any of the old maps but it may have been in the Sourhope area where there are cultivation terraces. Another possibility is that Crokecroft relates to the placename Croke Law near where there are remains of settlements and cultivation terraces in which case the road could have been up the valley of the Calroust Burn and Persouth would have been somewhere in the valley or over the watershed. However, it is more likely that Persouth (also written as Persouh) is in the vicinity of Percy Law, one kilometre north of Attonburn, and the road was therefore a local track (cf. Barrow, op.cit., page 261).
Wherever Persouth was, it is clear enough from the 1:25000 map that there are numerous remains of settlements and cultivation terraces in the vicinity of Calroust, Sourhope and Cocklawfoot and it highly likely that they were served by tracks. In fact, Clennell Street passes through Cocklawfoot coming from Alswinton in Northumberland and is more than likely to be the road that follows the Bowmont valley. It had an older name of Ernespeth (see also) noted in the chartulary of Newminster Abbey in Northumberland which takes it into Anglian times but could easily have its origins in prehistoric times. In later times it was well used as a drove road (see the RCAHMS Inventory for Roxburghshire, No.376, page 183 for details of another very old route, The Street, and some reference to Clennell Street - both tracks started near Alwinton in Northumberland but had quite distinct courses a few miles apart).

Melrose Abbey
In the late 1100's Anselm of Wittune gave Melrose:
"his whole petary which was between Molope (Mowhaugh) and Berope and Herdstrete, which separated the land of Molle from the land of Hunun."
About the same time he granted "the land with the meadows which he and Glai the nephew of Robert Avenel with the cellerar and brethren of Melrose perambulated, namely, as the furrow on the north side goes from the road which leads from Hunedune towards Molle, and goes as far as the rock...."
Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.1, page 422; Monastic Annals, page 270; Liber Melros, charter 134, page 126; Scottish Monastic Landscapes, Derek Hall, page 155

If Molope is correctly identified as Mowhaugh, Berope is more likely to be a lost name nearby rather than the Beirhope four miles west of Mowhaugh. Herdstrete is difficult: it might be the path running up beside the Hall Burn directly between Mowhaugh and Hownam although the parish boundary running at right angles across it at the Howden Burn tells against this somewhat. It could also be The Street along which the parish boundary runs though it seems a little too much to the south (the RCAHMS Inventory suggests this identification). In any case the fact that the parish boundary does run along The Street indicates that it existed at that time and the other reference to the road between Hunedune and Molle is very likely to be on the line of the present day track running up the Hall Burn (see the RCAHMS Inventory for Roxburghshire, No.376, page 183 for details of The Street).
Anselm also granted Melrose some land that was adjacent to their land near Howden Law:
  "that portion of land in the territory of Molle which was next their land on the south of the hill of Hunedune, and on the east bounded by the road from that hill to Molle, which road lay between the foresaid land and the church-lands of Molle, as far as a fountain on the west side of Kippemoder, as far as certain large stones of the old building, which stood upon a small ridge on the south side of the land called Cruche. Afterwards, the boundary descended along the same ridge to the south side of the same Cruche, as far as the rivulet between the lands of Hunum and Molle.' (Jeffrey)
The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, Vol.III, page 278
Liber Melros, charter 137, page 128

Jeffrey identifies the hill of Hunedune as Hownam Law. If correct this suggests that the road allowed access between Moll and the lands to the south of the hill.

Paisley Abbey
In the late 1100's Eschina of Molle, wife of Walter, the son of Alan the Steward gave Paisley a ploughgate in Blachedane in the territory of Molle. The boundaries were:
Blakedean "From where the Stelnburn falls into the Blakburne, and by the Blakburne upwards to the two stones lying by the bank of the Blakburne, and opposite the house of Ulfi the steward, on the west part, and so upwards to a ditch, and to two standing stones in that ditch, and from these stones to another ditch filled with stones, and from that ditch to Heselensahe (Elliesheugh), and from that by the footpath under Heselensahe to the shallow at the waterfall of Alernbarhe, and from thence to the ford of the Steinburn, and so by the Stelnburn till it descends to the Blakburne." (Lees, page 46)

The Abbey of Paisley from its Foundation to Its Dissolution, J Cameron Lees, Paisley 1878, page 46
Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.1, page 426;
Registrum de Passelet, page 75

Fortunately Blachedane has survived as Blakedean, a mile or so north of Mow. It is likely enough that the Blakeburne is Atton Burn. Although it is not clear which of the streams shown on maps running into the Atton Burn is the Steinburn, the wording of the charter suggests the ford was on a local route only, perhaps to Molle itself.


Primside near Moll
A charter of Gaufrid Ridel, gifting land to Kelso and dating from about 1180, refers to a road at Primside which is close to Moll. The charter reads:
  "a whole haugh of the territory of Pronewessete (Primside), as it lay near the water of Bolbent next the boundary of Cliftun, on the west side of the road which goes from Cliftun to Pronewessete, namely, along the road which goes from the water of Cliftun as far as the nearest costeria (terrace/wall?) towards Molle which encloses the whole haugh between it and the water." (OPS)
Origines Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.1, page 405; Monastic Annals, page 121; Liber Kelso, charter 368, pps 294, 295
The next charter below refers to a road between Molle and Roxburgh which must have passed through the lands of Clifton and Primside. It is not certain, however, that it is the same as that mentioned here, as Clifton and Primside are a little way off the direct route to Roxburgh. The mediaeval settlement lay a little way upstream from present day Clifton. There was a ford at Primsidemill which may have been used.

Cliftun near Moll
A grant to Melrose by Walter of Wildeshoures from the late 12th century of lands in Clifton refers to the road between Molle and Roxburgh. The charter reads:
  " From the two stones projecting from the rock above the small rush-bed on the east side of Crukehou, close by where the lands of Prenwensete and the lands of Grubbheued meet together; along that rush-bed and the stone lying below it; along a certain ridge, according to the marches and bounds which he and Ernald, abbot of Melros, and Symon, the archdeacon, perambulated, and made as far as the Bireburn, and thence across the Bireburn in a southern direction towards Molle, as far as the rock next the road eastwards, above the Cukoueburn as the Cukoueburn descends as far as the same great road, namely, that which leads from Rochesburgh to Molle; and from thence along that road as far as the Mereburn, which separates the land of Cliftun from the land of Molle ; and thence along the Mereburn to the boundaries of Hunum; and thence as the boundaries run between the land of Hunum and the land of Cliftun, as far as the boundaries of Grubbeheued; and thence along the marches and boundaries which he perambulated between the lands of Cliftun and the land of Grubbeheued ; and thence above the foresaid Cruikehou, along the boundaries which he perambulated between the land of Cliftun and the land of Prenewensete ; and thence as far as the foresaid two stones on the rock above the foresaid rush-bed." (Jeffrey)
The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, Vol. III, page 301; Liber Melros, charter 116, page 108

Crukehou is close to Crookedshaws, Prenwensete is Primrose and Grubbheud is Grubbit but generally the charter is difficult to follow because the names of streams have changed. The map shows some of the named places, the parish boundaries and some of the roads. However, the mention of the road is clear enough and presumably ran from Moll up the Bowmont valley to near Clifton and Primside then across to Roxburgh. It is not clear if it went directly to Roxburgh from here, i.e. through Linton, or went over to Eckford. Interestingly Jeffreys (page 321) says that there was a route between Melrose and the Cheviot granges that went by Eckford (see also Jeffrey, Volume IV, page 188 and Hardie, Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale, page 33&ff).

A charter of Walter Corbet of Makerston refers to a grant of two acres lying on the north side of the road from Langtune to Roxburgh, gifted by one of his vassals, Michael of Malcarvistun to Kelso Abbey.
Monastic Annals, page 124; Liber Kelso, charter 237, page 193

It is not clear if Langtune is the Langton near Duns, or the one near Jedburgh, or even a now lost placename near Makerston (4 miles SW of Kelso) itself.

Hermitage, Liddesdale
William de Bolebech made a gift to Kelso of the Hermitage called Merchingleye, in the waste by the Merching-burn, along with the church of St Mary. He stipulated that the hermitage should be held by two of the monks of Kelso.
Eustace de Baliol gave 26 acres of land near Heleychestres to the Hermitage.

Monastic Annals, page 125; Liber Kelso, charters 265, 266, pages 220-222

This is noted as it can be assumed that journeys were made between the Hermitage and Kelso. Jedburgh had been granted the church.
William de Hunum gave Melrose land that extended:
  "from the rivulet of Cuithenop (Capehope) the whole way up to the ditch between Raweshawe and Cuithbritishope, and thence by the whole boundary between him and Richard de Umphravill, as far as Derestrete (the Roman road) towards the west, and from Derestrete descending all the way to the march of Chatthou, and thence by the march between him and Chatthou, as far as the burn of Cuithenop." (OPS)
Originales Parochiales Scotiae, Vol.1, page 394; Liber Melros, charter 131, page 122

As the course of Dere Street (noted here as Watling Street) is known, we need not be concerned with the details of the charter.






In the late 1100's, Uchtred of Grubbeshead, allowed Melrose the right to pass freely with their carriages from the grange at Hownam across his lands of Grubbeshead.
Origines parochiales Scotiae, Vol.1, page 412; Liber Melros, charter 118, page 110; Scottish Monastic Landscapes, Derek Hall, page 155

Grubbeshead is marked on early maps as Grubet a mile or so SSE of Morebattle, and less than a mile north of the grange.
The charter indicates that there was a track from the grange, and no doubt, Hownam, to the Morebattle area. As said, a route continued to Melrose Abbey through Eckford.






John de Laundeles, who lived about 1245, confirmed the grant made by his father, or uncle, William, to the monks of Melrose, and granted free passage to them between their grange at Hunedune and Rasawe.
The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, Vol.III, page 311; Liber Melros, charter 279, page 247

The grange was sited a couple of miles north of Hownam. Rasawe may have been in the vicinity of Raeshaw Fell, six miles south of the grange. The implication is that a route ran the whole length of the valley to Morebattle from where it continued to Melrose by Eckford.
About the year 1200 Richard Burnard of Fairingdun, gave Melrose "thirteen acres and a rood of his land in the territory of Faringdun, those namely which lay nearest the land of Simon of Farburne on the east side below the King's road leading to Rokesburc." They were also granted part of a petary and allowed free passage to and from the petary (OPS).
OPS, volume I, page 494; Monastic Annals, page 270; Liber Melros Charters 86, 87, pages 75,76;
The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, Vol. III, p170; Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale, Hardie, page 36

When this is read in connection with the Maxton charters below, it is clear that it is the King's highway between Roxburgh and Annandale which formed the boundary between Fairnington and Mackuston (Maxton), and is shown today as the boundary between the parishes of Maxton and Roxburgh.

Several roads are mentioned in these charters, viz: Derestreet, the road from Eckford to Melrose (coming from Hownam in the Cheviots), a road running to the east, the King's Highway between Roxburgh and Annandale, a road between Newtun and Roxburgh and a road forming the parish boundary between Maxton and Faringdon.
Click for larger image
In the reign of William the Lion, Robert de Berkeley and Cecilia his wife granted Melrose part of their land of Morhus or Muirhouse, amounting to a ploughgate. The boundaries ran as follows:
  "On the east side of Derestrete from the middle of the ridge of Morrig southwards, on the east side of the same strete (strata) as far as the first sike on the north of Lilisyhates, between Gretkerigge and Lilisyhates (Lilliardsedge), and so eastward along the same sike as far as the place which he (Robert de Berkeley) had assigned to the monks in presence of his men; and in testimony of which they had themselves erected a great stone in Morric, and thence westwards as far as Derestrete.." (OPS).
They were also allowed to use the common pasture of Morhus for sheep, cattle, horses and pigs and to obtain turf and heath for fuel, and to take stone from Robert's quarry at Alwerdine "sufficient to erect the buildings of the house of Melros."
Monastic Annals, page 270; Liber Melros Charters 90 & 91, pages 78, 79; Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale, Hardie page 31; OPS, Volume I, page 299

As the course of Dere Street is known, the charter need not concern us too much but Morrig survives in the placename Morridgehall, and Lilisyhates in Lilliardsedge.

Alwerdine is unlikely to be the Allerdean south-west of Berwick as it is too far from Melrose. The more likely location is in the location of Littledean or Broomhouse, one mile east of Maxton, where there is a quarry, and in fact Jeffrey (vol. iv, page 196) refers to the local tradition that building stones for the abbey came from this locality.

Eckford to Melrose; a road heading east; a causeway that forms the boundary between Maxton and Faringdun
Also in the time of William the Lion, Melrose exchanged this land with Hugo de Normanville and his wife, for some land to the east of it. The new land was Keluesete and Fawelawe, probably to be identified with present Muirhouselaw. The boundaries ran:
  "From the uncultivated ground direct to the ditch on the north of Kelfsete, and so along that ditch eastward, and along the march-stones to the road which comes from Eckeforde towards Melros, and so from that road along the path across Celfesetestele southwards by the march-stones there as far as another ditch on the south of Kelfsetestele, and so along that ditch to the road which goes thence towards the east, and so by that road as far as the march-stones placed cornerwise extending to Fawelaweleche, and so along that sike (or leche) eastward as far as the ditch which is the boundary between the land of Mackestun and the land of Ruderforde, and by that boundary south-westward to the road which comes from Eckeforde, and so across that road westward along the march-stones between the cultivated land and the moor, and so making a circuit along the march-stones southward, and thence eastward to the bounds of the land of Ruderford, and along that boundary as far as the causeway (or strete) which is the boundary between Mackustun and Faringdun, and along that causeway westward to the march-stones, and thence across northwards by the march-stones to a sike, and by that sike and the march-stones there as far as the spot where the perambulation began." (OPS)
OPS, Volume I, page 300; Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale, Hardie, page 33; Liber Melros Charter 92, page 79; Alexander Jeffrey, Volume 4, chapter V

At first sight it seems a very promising charter but it proves difficult to follow the boundaries given in the charter. Ultimately, however, we can gain a good idea of the course taken by the three roads referred to.

As Hardie suggests, Kill Law (see 6" OS map - Roxburghshire, sheet XIV) and Steelmoor, both north-east of Muirhouselaw may echo Kelfsete and Celfesetestele - they are in the right area as the charter has the heading "of Muirhouse" and "seat" and "law" are terms used of hills.

If this is correct we can note that the Eckford to Melrose road must have ran past the eastern side of Steelmoor Plantation on a direct route to Maxton. In view of this, Hardie's routing of it by the Duke's Strip and the reported remnants of a road heading from the end of the strip towards Rutherford Burnside may be too far to the east.

The charter's wording for the "road that goes to the east" is ambiguous. Hardie suggests the road is identical to the Newtun to Roxburgh road below, a road that ran south of the Tweed. This accords quite well with the mention of Rutherford and with the possibility that the use of "via" for the "road that goes to the east" and "stratam" for the Annandale road was intended to differentiate between them; that is, that the road to the east could not have been the Annandale road.

Against this, the position in the charter to the reference to the "road that goes to the east" implies that it was south of Kelfsetestele and so could have been the Annandale road.

That aside, it doesn't matter too much as there seem to be only the three roads referred to in the charter; the Newtun to Roxburgh road, the Annandale to Roxburgh road which forms the parish boundary between Mackustun (Maxton parish) and Faringdun (Fairnington in Roxburgh parish), and the Eckford to Melrose road.

The position of each road is known approximately. The Newtun to Roxburgh road probably ran about half a mile to a mile south of the Tweed; the Annandale road is given by the parish boundary; and the Eckford road (ultimately from Hownam) running towards the eastern side of Steelmoor, near where it would cross the Annandale road, and making directly for Maxton and then Melrose.

Dere Street and Annandale to Roxburgh road
In 1226, John de Normanville, son of Hugh gave Melrose some land that ran:
  "along the ditch below Kelwelaue as far as Keluesetescloch, and so descending by Keluesetescloch to the ditch of Grenrig, and so by the same ditch to Lillesetheburne, and so ascending by the same burn to the ditch of Grenerig, and by that ditch westward to Derstret, and so southward along Derstret as far as the King’s way from Anandale to Roxburgh, and so along that way as far as the bounds between Faringdun and the land of the monks.’ (OPS).
Liber Melros Charter 244, page 219; The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, Volume 4, chapter V; Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale, Hardie; OPS, Volume I, page 300

As noted above, this road forms the parish boundary between Maxton and Roxburgh parishes, near Fairnington.
Although we will deal with the Annandale road elsewhere, it is interesting to read Hardie on its course outwith this parish, and Richmond (A New Roman Mountain Road in Dumfriesshire and Roxburghshire, PSAS, Vol.80, 1945-46) and Graham (The Roman Road to Raeburnfoot, PSAS, Vol.82, 1947-48) on that part of its course that was identical to the Craik Cross Roman road. The Roman road probably ran down to join the main northern road near to Lockerbie. The Bruces (who had been given Annandale) had their stronghold at Lochmaben, some three or so miles further on.

Newtun to Roxburgh
John de Normanville also gave Melrose some land:
  ‘on the west side of Grenerig descending by a rivulet to the road from Newtun to Rokisburg, and by the same road ascending to the furrow which was drawn from the monks’ land of Morhus southwards* to the same road, and by the same furrow ascending by the great march-stones to the said land of Morhus, with the common pasture and all the other easements of Stele (probably the Kelfsetestele of a former charter) (OPS).
* this should be northwards - aquilonem
Liber Melros Charter 250, page 223; OPS, Volume I, page 300

The charter immediately above suggests that Grenerig was between Morridgehall and Lilliardsedge. The rivulet would be the Ploughlands Burn and would meet the road perhaps a mile or less south-east of Maxton. This would then lie to the north of Muirhouselaw.

It is not absolutely clear where Newtun was. Hardie (page 52) suggests it was Newton St Boswells, where Melrose had a grange. If so, this road must have merged with the Eckford road near Maxton.

Curlewudeburne ford and Selkirk to Jedburgh road
In the first half of the 13th century, some land in Lilliesleaf was granted to Melrose, viz:
  "From the ford of Curlewudeburne on the east* side of Caldelawe along the road which goes from Selkirk towards Jedewurth as far as the Alne - and so descending by the same water which is the boundary between the land of the bishop of Glasgow and my land as far as the sike which is the boundary between me and the abbot of Kelcov - and so along the boundary between me and the same abbot as far as Curlewudeburne—and so along the same burn as far as the foresaid ford of Curlewudeburne - with the exception of the land of William the son of Alexander" - with "pasture for 12 oxen, 10 cows, 5 horses, and 100 sheep, with all the other common easements of the same town." (OPS).
* this should be west - occidentali

Liber Melros Charters 282, 283, pp 249,250; Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale, Hardie pps 18,19 ; The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, Volume 4, chapter VI, page 207, also 167; Monastic Annals, page 271; OPS, volume I, page 309; Lilliesleaf and Its Old Roads, Rev. James McKenzie, Trans. Hawick Archaeological Society, 1947

Map of Lilliesleaf area
Jeffrey (vol.iv, page 167) refers to a highway running by Midlem, Milnrig, Chapel, Hillhead and Greenhouse and on to the Teviot, but Hardie has the road mentioned in the charter more to the west of this. His route is from Midlem practically due south to cross the Curlewude (now the Chesterknowes Burn in its upper part and the Shaw Burn in its lower part) and the Alne, into Lilliesleaf. The further course of the road may be shown by a relatively straight section of the boundary between Minto and Ancrum parishes that runs down to the Teviot, and it may have joined Jeffrey's road at the north end of this parish boundary.

McKenzie gives a more detailed and different account of the route. It can be followed easily on the 6" map (Roxburghshire, sheet XIII) running from Whitmuir past Whitmuir Hall where a path leads down to Kersknowe. From there it went by a still existing track to Curling Farm then crossed the Curlewude (Chesterknowes Burn) just east of Greenside Moss, and west of Calla Plantation (which he suggests is the Caldelawe of the charter) to make its way to Friarshaw Farm. A path then leads down to stepping stones on the Ale from where it is a short distance to Lilliesleaf itself. He makes the interesting point that the path leads precisely to Bishop's Close in the village where the Bishops of Glasgow (who had lands in Lilliesleaf) may have had a tithe barn and around which the village grew. In general he sees the route as part of a longer route from Glasgow to Lilliesleaf and Jedburgh, where Glasgow also had holdings.

South of Lilliesleaf (see sheet XIV) he continues the road by a short path that meets a wider road dating from the 18th century and which he suggests incorporates the mediaeval route. It skirts Lilliesleaf Moss to pass through East Middles then turns south-east to Craggs. From there it crosses the Mire Burn by a substantial bridge and runs down to Netherraw. Beyond Netherraw he routes it by the present day road past Greenhouse and Standhill then down through the Minto Policies (Lambslair Plantation) (sheet XX) to a ford at Linton Mill. Once over the river it would have taken a direct line to Jedburgh through Lanton. It is not clear from his text why he routes it along the river to Linton Mill when there was a nearby ford at Spittal and two near Barnhills. The ford at Spittal would access a direct route to Jedburgh by Ruecastle and Lanton Hill shown on the Military Survey map. As already said, there is a possibility that the course of the road beyond Standhill was along the parish boundary down to the Teviot although this needs confirmation.

McKenzie also notes the existence of another old road (the same as that mentioned by Jeffrey) that went from Whitmuir to Midlem then by Milrighall, Linthill and Chapel to Craggs where it joined the road above. He suggests that although still mediaeval it may have been an easier route for wheeled traffic and that Midlem itself being a larger village could have generated some traffic of its own.

In summary then, a road came from Selkirk through Whitmuir to run directly to Lilliesleaf, and had its origins in the connection with the Bishops of Glasgow. It continued SSE to the Teviot and then to Jedburgh although there is some doubt about the details of its route on this stretch. Another route went from Whitmuir through Midlem and joined the other road just beyond Lilliesleaf and probably developed after the first route.

Road to moss at Schotteschales; Staniford
In 1202-8 Florence, bishop elect of Glasgow, granted to his ‘man’ Alexander of Huntingdon, for the homage and service of his father and himself, and a yearly payment of 5 shillings, the land in the territory of Lillisclif that was called Schotteschales according to its bounds, viz.,
  "between the burn of Schotteschales and the road leading to the moss, and as a sike descends from that road to the foresaid burn on the east side of Schotteschales, and as another sike descends on the west side of Schotteschales between the land of Lillisclif and the land of Sintun as far as Staniford, with the common pasture and all the common easements of the whole territory of Lillisclif." (excerpt from OPS).
Reg. Glasg., vol.1, charter 99, page 85; OPS, Volume I, page 310; Geoffrey Barrow, Scotland and its neighbours in the Middle Ages, 1992, page 210

Schotteschales is thought to be Satchels, two and a half miles SW of Lilliesleaf, and Synton a mile further west in Ashkirk parish. The ford at Syntonmill would fit the location of Staniford and Barrow's remarks about the possibility of it being on the line of the Roman road from Craik Cross towards Newstead are interesting. It could also indicate an early route between Selkirk and Hawick. The "road to the moss" may have led uphill to mossy ground above Satchels.

When King William and Josceline, bishop of Glasgow were in disagreement about the church at Hastanden (Hassendean), the dispute was settled when they agreed to use its assets for a charitable purpose. These assets were given to Melrose for use in establishing a "house of hospitality" for the wayfaring poor and pilgrims making their way to Melrose.
Monastic Annals, page 272; Liber Melros
Charter 121 et seq, page 112

HassendenThe monks had their centre at the Monk's Tower, some 200 metres SE of Hassendean village. Despite the clear reference to pilgrims and wayfaring poor, and the implication of a route between (presumably) Hawick and Melrose, it is not clear what course this route would have taken. Possibilities would be the Roxburgh to Annandale road and then to Dere Street although this appears unnecessarily long, or up to the Lilliesleaf to Jedburgh road and from there to Melrose.

In a charter from the reign of William the Lion (1165-1182) there is a mention of a Staniford in Ashkirk parish (Selkirkshire), viz
  "...from Staniford to the Cross and from the Cross to the great Alder tree near the turf ground, and thence as far as Lilieslade, and thence to the small rivulet on the east side of the Huntleie, and from that rivulet to Akermere and so upward to the wenelachia of Richard Cumin and so thereafter up to the sike which is next under Todholerig, and so from that sike to the sike which goes into the rivulet of Langhope, and from there by the boundary on the eastside of Lepes between Ashkirk and Whitslade into the Alne." (OPS)
Reg. Glasg., vol.1, charter 30, page 29; OPS, Volume I, page 314

These boundaries enclose a large part of Ashkirk parish. While it is not absolutely certain that it is the same Staniford of the Schotteschales charter it is quite likely, given that Syntonmill ford is on the parish boundary.

There is a mention of Dere Street in a Melrose charter where Robert de Londinia gave them land adjacent to Dere Street. The road is said to descend obliquely to the east as far as the torrent, probably the Bowden Burn. Its alignment through the parish is not known other than it would have made directly for Newstead fort. Dere Street is also mentioned in a Dryburgh charter where a grant of Thomas de Londonia included "the land and meadow west of the church (of "St Mary of Lessedewyn"), as far as the great road which led towards Eldon."(Jeffrey, iv, 173) As the location of the church is not known, it does not help us determine the exact course of the road..

Another road is mentioned in a Dryburgh charter, where John, son of Ylif of Ylifston, gave them "ten acres of land of his demesne in the town of Yliston, viz., two acres in toft and croft nearest to and east of the rivulet which ran below his garden, four acres in Rokflat, next to and west of the road leading to Boulden, and three acres in Greenrig."(Jeffrey, iv, 174)

As said, neither of the Dere Street references allow us to determine the exact course of the road. The other road was in the vicinity of Elliston, two miles south of Newtown St Boswells and suggests a road ran in a north westerly direction up to Bowden, one and a half miles distant. Hardie suggests it would have led to Roxburgh, though the route seems awkward; a route through Maxton would be shorter. Jeffrey (iv, 51) has an interesting note on what had been thought to be a Roman road running past Cauldshiels Hill towards Bowden but was actually an earthwork raised by David I to define a boundary between lands given to Kelso and Melrose abbeys. This is the "Military Road" marked on the above map.
Hardie, Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale, page 51; Liber Melros, charter 88, page 76; Liber Dryburgh, Charter 205; The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, volume iv, page 174

Among the requirements on those renting land from Kelso Abbey was an obligation to cart peats from the petary at Gordon to the abbey, to travel to Berwick with horse-cart, to carry wool from the grange of Newtun to the abbey and to find carriages for a journey to Lesmahagow, where Kelso had a priory.
The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey, volume iv, page 144
Melrose, South of River Tweed
Dere Street
One important question is the route taken by Dere Street and where it crossed the Tweed. Chalmers (Caledonia, Vol 3, page 91) had it cross at a ford near Gattonside then up to Clackmae, one and a half miles NW of Earlston. Roy (Military Antiquities, page 103) routed it from Gattonside up the valley of the Allan Water but appears to have been following the Girthgate.

Another proposed location was at Newstead and there was a tradition of there having been a fine stone bridge there quoted by Milne in his history of Melrose (1743).
Also, at Red Abbey Stead, close to Newstead, remains of a twenty foot wide road running north-south were found. A paper by J A Smith (Notices of Various Discoveries of Roman Remains at the Red Abbeystead, near the Village of Newstead, Roxburghshire, Archaeologica Scotica, pps. 422-427, Vol. 4, 1857) describes these remains which make it clear that the road ran just west of Newtown St Boswells, then close by Eildon village up to the Red Abbey Stead (the fort of Trimontium is situated here) where it crossed the Tweed by the bridge.

Melrose, North of River Tweed
Overview (see below)


Dryburgh Abbey
There are mentions of several roads in the Melrose and Dryburgh abbey charters relating to this area. Chief among them was Malcolmesrode which may have been Dere Street. It ran from near Newstead up to Lauder, following a ridge of high ground. Two or three side roads led from this to separate granges near the Leader on the east side of the road. In the other direction, one led to Windydoors on the far side of the Gala Water and one, possibly two, into the forested area in the centre of the district.

Another main road ran from Lauder to Birkenside and may have continued to Roxburgh. In the central valley of the Allan Water there was the Girthgate that led between Melrose and Soutra, and one other road on the west side of the Allan that probably ran to Stow. There was also a road heading north over Sell Moor.

To the north, there may have been a road between Stow and Lauder.

While some of these roads would have been used mainly to transport produce to the monasteries, Malcomesrode and the Birkenside road (if it went to Roxburgh) could also have been used as long distance routes. The status of the Girthgate is not certain though it may well have been used by pilgrims. It is not clear why the Windesdores road developed.

As Hardie (The Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale) has dealt so comprehensively with the large number of charters for this area we will just provide a short summary of his findings on each of the roads mentioned in the charters. Excerpts from the relevant charters are included as his book is now difficult to obtain. The area was also studied by John Gilbert (The Monastic Record of a Border Landscape 1136-1236, Scottish Geographical Magazine, Vol. 99, No. 1, 1983) who provides a very useful account of how the area developed and the uses to which each part of the territory were put. He also provides a map of the routes mentioned in the charters (see Atlas of Scottish History to 1707, page 455). Also very useful is the account of Dryburgh Abbey and its properties given in Dryburgh Abbey, Richard Fawcett and Richard Oram, Tempus 2005 - there is a companion volume for Melrose Abbey.

Click for larger image-lands on west of Leader
Looking towards Sorrowlessfield, Kedslie, Blainslie, Milkside etc. Malcolmesrode generally keeps close to the ridge line - the lands run from this to the valley of the Leader in the middle distance.
To start with, it may be useful to look at the estates concerned. Overall, Melrose parish is determined in large part by the mediaeval land divisions. Apart from a small area south of the Tweed, it is bounded by the Leader on the east and the Gala Water on the west. To the north the boundary with Lauder and Stow parishes runs fairly directly from the Milsie Burn, two miles south of Lauder across to the Fasseburne, three miles south of Stow.

The various estates can be seen from the map. Apart from Gattonside and Fauhope immediately north of the Tweed, there is a cluster bounded by the Leader on the east and, on the west by a road called Malcolmesrode, that may have been Dere Street. These are Sorulesfield (Dryburgh), Kedsley (Dryburgh), Elwinseley and Herdesley (Dryburgh) forming an outlier of Earlston parish on the west side of the Leader, and Blainslie and Milkeside (Melrose) just south of Lauder parish.

Other roads mentioned are a road between Lauder and Birkenside which may have continued to Roxburgh, one over to Windesdores in the valley of the Gala, and at least two others on an east-west alignment.

In the centre of the territory is the grange of Colmsie which belonged to Melrose, as well as Threepwood which was the subject of a dispute between the abbey and Richard de Morville. North-west of this was Allanshaws and to the west were Whitelee and Buckholm.
Apart from the Windesdores road heading west through these lands, there were at least two north-south roads up the valley of the Allan water, one of them being the Girthgate. There seems also to have been a road between Stow and Lauder.

Placenames of particular relevance (as identified by Hardie) are the Fauhope Burn (now Packman's Burn), Scabroeusheud (cf. Scabbet Hill), Duneden Burn (now Kedslie Burn) and the Mere Burn (an unnamed burn south of the Milsie Burn. A hill called Windeslau is just west of Jeanisfield.

Dere Street and Malcolmesrode
One point of importance is that Hardie identified Malcolmesrode with Dere Street
. It has to be noted however that the NMRS records (see for example NT53NE 72) considered this to be mediaeval (referring to Chalmers Caledonia) suggesting that Dere Street ran closer to the Leader, passing several Roman camps on the way. Gilbert also refers to this. Margary in his Roman Roads of Britain thought that Malcolmesrode was mediaeval though possibly on an earlier Roman road, having noted some quarry pits. Whatever the case, it has the characteristics of a ridgeway which is suggestive of a very early development.

Chalmers depended on the observations of his correspondent Kinghorn who surveyed the remains of Dere Street in 1803 (Chalmers, Caledonia, v.1, p.140ff; vol.3, p.90ff). While old antiquarian reports can sometimes be confusing, Kinghorn's account must be given credence if he says the remains of the road were quite distinct. The course he gives to Dere Street, although very close to the minor road running up from Drygrange through Kedslie and Blainslie, is not the same as this road. The minor road was in fact the turnpike built after the Turnpike Act of 1768 (see Border Highways, John James Mackay, 1998, chapter 9) and is shown on Armstrong (1775) and Taylor & Skinner (1775) but not on the Military Survey of c.1750.

Dere Street and Malcolmesrode
Course of Malcolmesrode, and of Dere Street after Chalmers

Chalmers, referring to Kinghorn, routes Dere Street from a ford opposite Melrose up the west of the Leader, close to the turnpike as far as a camp called Chesterlee (Kedslie-NT54SE 20) - the road in this area could easily be seen. It crossed the turnpike and a small stream that joined the Leader below Chapel which would place this about 400 metres above today's Kedslie.

It then ran up to a Roman site called Wass or Walls at New Blainslie (site NT54SE 18 is 200 metres from New Blainslie). Kinghorn says that the road was very evident for a mile and a half north of here when it crossed the turnpike again, and a nearby stream, half a mile ENE from Chieldshiels chapel. It then ran towards Lauder.

Details of the Roman camps (all temporary camps) can be found on the Canmore database (Drygrange-NT53NE 33; Kedslie-NT54SE 20; Blainslie-NT54SE 18; South Blainslie-NT54SW10; St Leonards Hill-NT54NW 14) - Canmore entries for Dere Street on this stretch refer mostly to Chalmers. It is interesting to see that the camps are all on or close to the presumed line of the road. While this is suggestive evidence it is not absolutely conclusive. By their nature, temporary camps indicate the passage of a military unit rather than a settled base served by roads, although of course they could use an already existing road. The St Leonards camp (currently the largest known camp in the Roman empire) has been dated to the Severan campaign between 208 and 211.

There is another suggestive alignment, which complicates the issue somewhat. This is that the Blainslie and St Leonards Hill camps are exactly on the line of the Birkenside road which forms the county boundary and is mentioned in charters as a magnam stratam which implies that it was a made road. The question is whether it is Dere Street as Kinghorn suggests, or if it is a road to Birkinside and perhaps Roxburgh as Hardie suggests, though whether Roman or mediaeval is uncertain.

Clearly this is problematic, but to explore it further is too speculative given the available evidence.

With regard to Malcolmesrode, the fact that it is clearly named leads us to assume that it was either constructed or remade by one of the Malcolms before the first mention of it in the charters. Malcolm I (943-954) seems too early and Malcolm IV (1156-1165) too late. Both Malcolm II (1005-1034) and Malcolm III (Malcolm Canmore, 1058-1093) are more likely - Lothian passed into Scottish hands after the Battle of Carham in 1018 and the road no doubt helped control the new territory and allow a rapid response in the event of incursions from the south. As implied above, it has not been determined whether it had originally been a Roman road, or dated from early mediaeval times. As said, its ridgeway characteristics could indicate a very early origin.

The Roads (click map for larger image)
Map of roads for Melrose parish
Several roads are mentioned although one or two may be the same road under different names.

  This ran on a north-south line from a crossing on the Tweed near Newstead up to Lauder and formed the western boundary of several land grants to the monasteries.
Road to the wood
  This ran through Herdesley (perhaps from Birkenside, where there was a river crossing) over to Threepwood. Herdesley was sited between Blainslie and Kedslie between the Hawickshields and Sturdon Burns.
Lauder to Birkenside (and possibly Roxburgh)
  This appears to have been a major road that ran down from Lauder to Birkenside on the Leader Water. It formed a parish/county boundary for part of its length. Hardie suggests it would have made for Roxburgh.
Road from Malcolmesrode to Milkside
  Milkeside lay north of Blainslie. It may just have been a local track branching off Malcolmesrode.
Road to Windesdores
  This ran for at least eight miles from near Kedslie to Colmslie and Whitelee, to cross the Gala Water near Crosslee. Windydoors was some two miles further on. In the other direction it may have crossed the Leader at Hunter's Ford to access Earlston.
Galaden to Leader
  Galadean (Glouden) lies less than a kilometre north of Birkenside. As the charter says that the road ran from the south part of Glouden (presumably near Birkenside), this could fit Hardie's suggestion that it ran through Herdesley (opposite Birkenside) and was the same as the road known as the "road to the wood" mentioned above. The other possibility is that it was the same as the Windesdores road, though this is less likely being about two kilometres south of Birkenside.
• Way dividing Wedale and Lauderdale
  This ran in a northerly direction over Sell Moor, a couple of miles east of Stow. It may have continued southwards past Comslie towards the Tweed near Darnick.
Way dividing Burnerig from Laudeparc
  This may indicate a road between Stow and Lauder.
The way towards the south
  This is the Girthgate.
King's highway into the wood and Fairforde
  Fairforde was on the Allan, somewhere near Allanshaws. The King's highway may have come from Lauder as it seems too far north to be the "road to the wood," although Gilbert identifies it as such.
Road leading from the above
  This is the Girthgate.
Road to the side of the church at Stow
  This may have come up the west side of the Allan from Darnick, although this is not certain.
Although these identifications are not always satisfactory, the fact that there must have been routes between the granges and the monasteries confirms some of these routes and suggests others. Malcolmesrode would have been of great importance for the Melrose estates between it and the Leader and we are probably safe to assume side roads to each grange (although some did exist, the alternative theory that Dere Street was not Malcolmesrode and that it ran closer to the Leader and therefore through these granges has to be taken into account). It would be easier for the Dryburgh granges to cross the Leader and make their way south on the east side of the river. Colmslie and Allanshaws would be better served by routes down the Allan Water, i.e. the Girthgate and a possible road on the west side of the river.
Melrose also had lands at Whitelee and Buckholm which could have used the Windesdores road. Note: The references below are to:
The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, Alexander Jeffrey
The Roads of Mediaeval Lauderdale, R H Hardie
Origines Parochiales Scotiae (OPS)

Heading north from the crossing near Newstead, it would have ran fairly directly past Kittyfield and near the Fawe Plantation to meet the track coming up from Easter Housebyres. From here it is on the course of the Southern Upland Way as far as Fordswell. Beyond this point is a little uncertain. The fact that a branch road to Milkeside is mentioned suggests that it continued on the ridgeway line (SUW) although a more direct path past Woodheads cannot be discounted.

The road is mentioned in several charters. 1. A Melrose charter of 1208 relating to a dispute with Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, viz:
  "the said Patrick had freely granted to the monks the whole arable land called Sorulesfeld, as held by William Sorules, west of the Leder towards the grange of the monks, and pasture for fifty sheep and seven score cows or oxen within and without the wood everywhere, between the road going towards Louueder along the causeway which is called Malcholmisrode and the Leder, and from the bounds of Cadesley as far as Fauhopeburne, reserving to the Earl and his heirs only the right of brushwood."
It was further agreed that neither party should within these bounds have any houses, sheepcots, enclosures, lodges, folds, or dwellings of any kind; that only Sorulesfeld should be arable; and that the goods (cattle) of the Earl should not pass the said road, and should every night return to Hercheldune, unless hindered by storm or flood. The Earl granted to the monks also the liberty of taking yearly six score cart loads of peat from the neighbouring moss of Scabbedraburch. (OPS).
Sorulesfield, Liber Melros, charter 101, page 87; Scabbedraburch - charter 102, page 91; Hardie page 64; Jeffrey Vol.4, page 13

Note: Hardie identifies the Fauhopeburn as the present Packman's Burn. The road would have ran from the Tweed crossing at Newstead past the headwaters of this burn to join what is now the Southern Upland Way. Scabbedraburch must have been in the vicinity of Scabbet Hill which lies 1km SSE of Easter Housebyres. Hercheldune is Earlston.

2. A Dryburgh charter for the lands of Elwinsley, which is the portion of Earlston parish on the west side of the Leader (the boundary was changed in the 1800's but see early maps, e.g. Stobie, NW sheet)
  "the land called Elwinesley and so as the hedge (see Hardie) goes as far as the Dunedin and so above as far as Risebrigge and from there by Malcomes rode to the Strikerden, and by the Strikerden as far as the Ledre"
terram que dicitur Elwinesley et ita sursum sicut haya wadit usque ad Duneden et sicut sursum usque ad Risebrigge et inde per Malcomes rode usque ad Strikerden et per Strikerden usque ad Ledre
Liber Dryburgh, charter 116, page 83; Hardie, page 57

Hardie suggests the Duneden is the Kedslie Burn. The Sturdon Burn is suggestive of the Strikerden although the parish boundary is a little way north of this along the Hawickshiels Burn. Hardie unravels the difficult references in several charters to these lands. The (old) parish boundary here makes it clear that the road is the track used as the Southern Upland Way.

3. An arrangement between Melrose and Dryburgh recorded in a Dryburgh Charter (113) that determined the boundary between Colmslie (Melrose) and Kedslie (Dryburgh).
  "furthermore, on the south part of the grange of these canons, namely Caddesley, the boundary will be that road from the southern part of Glouden as the same road tends to the Ledre (Leader) and on the other hand to the road which leads to Lauder - the monks of Melrose are to have the south and the canons of Dryburgh the northern part. In like manner on the west of the aforesaid grange, the boundary will be that road which leads to Lauder as far as the wood which divides the plain called Cumbesley from a certain other plain which is to go to the brethren of Dryburgh; Cumbesley along with the wood, the brothers cede to Melrose. Furthermore, the canons of Dryburgh are to have from the eastern side of the aforesaid road as far as the aforesaid plain, while the monks of Melrose will have the western part."
porro a parte australi grangie canonicorum eorundem scilicet Caddesley meta erit via illa que est ex australi parte Glouden sicut ipsa via tendit ad Ledre et ex altera parte ad viam que ducit Lauder - monachi de Melross habebunt ex australi parte canonichi vero de Driburgh ex aquilonali a parte. Itidem occidentali predicte grangie meta erit via illa que ducit ad Lauder usque ad silvam que dividit planitiem que dicitur Cumbesley ab alia quadam planitie que planicies fratribus de Driburgh - Cumbesley vero cum silva fratribus cedet de Melross. Porro a parte orientali presate vie usque ad premissam planiciem habebunt canonici de Driburgh a parte vero occidentali monachi de Melross.
Liber Dryburgh, charter 113, page 80; Hardie, page 60
Malcolmesrode is the road leading to Lauder. The Galadean road will be dealt with below.

4. A charter of Richard de Morville allowing Melrose to cultivate land in Blainsley from:
  "Windeslaue, and from there by the great road which descends from Windeslaue towards Lauder, as far as the marches of Lauder." (Monastic Annals).
Liber Melros, charter 95, page 83; Monastic Annals, page 263; Hardie, page 71

Using a charter of 1547, Hardie is able to identify Windeslaue as the summit just west of Jeaniefield.

Another charter of Richard de Morville (dated from 1188) for Milcheside, just north of Blainslie, which mentions a road from Lauder to Birkenside (see below) as well as Malcolmsrode and a road branching from this to Milcheside (see below).
  :as far as the rivulet called Mereburne, which is the boundary between the land of Milkeside and the land of Blainesleie, to the great causeway which descends from Windeslaue to Lauwder, and thence by the same causeway northwards to the road which runs from it to Milckeside, and by that road to the head of the ditch which we (R. de Moreuille and Auicia his wife) had begun before we gave the land of Milkeside to the abbey of Melros, and thence to the southern head of the ditch which surrounds the court of the said chapel on the west." (OPS)
Liber Melros, charter 108, page 96; Monastic Annals, page 263

Hardie identifies the Mereburne as the stream passing Upper and Middle Blainslie.

Road to the wood
This is mentioned in a charter of Walter, son of Alan the Steward that gave Dryburgh the land of Herdesley which was near Kedslie grange, where the right to use the road to the wood was retained. As Hardie says, this was probably Threepwood. The Leader may have been crossed at Birkenside, which is opposite Herdesley.
Liber Dryburgh, charter112, page 80; Hardie, page 59

Lauder to Birkenside (and possibly Roxburgh); road from Malcolmesrode to Milkside

This road ran from Lauder to Birkenside some 5 miles south of Lauder. Interestingly the second charter makes it clear that the parish/county boundary followed this. Hardie suggests that it went to Roxburgh.

He also suggests that the Milkeside road left Malcolmesrode about one kilometre north of Fordswell and may have followed the parish boundary here. The charter context suggests it was a local track only.

A charter of William, son of Richard de Morville added to the grant of cultivating land in Blainslie given by his father. His charter refers to the great causeway (stratam) which goes from Lauder towards Birkenside.

It is also referred to in a charter of Richard de Morville (dated from 1188) that gives the boundaries of the lands of Milcheside thus:

"From the upper fish-pool, down by the same rivulet which falls into the said fish-pools, as far as the great causeway which goes from Loweder towards Birkenside, and then by the same causeway southwards to the eastern head of the ditch which the foresaid monks made after our assignation between their land and the land which we have assigned on the south to our sick, and from the said head of the ditch made by the monks along the same westwards to the ancient ditch which crosses the plain from south to north, and thence southward to the head of the same ancient ditch, and thence descending obliquely in the direction in which Joceline lord bishop of Glasgow and the Cellarer of Melros perambulated the boundary as far as the rivulet called Mereburne, which is the boundary between the land of Milkeside and the land of Blainesleie, to the great causeway which descends from Windeslaue to Lauwder, and thence by the same causeway northwards to the road which runs from it to Milckeside, and by that road to the head of the ditch which we (R. de Moreuille and Auicia his wife) had begun before we gave the land of Milkeside to the abbey of Melros, and thence to the southern head of the ditch which surrounds the court of the said chapel on the west." (OPS)

Origines Parochiales Scotiae, volume 1, page 281, Liber Melros, charter 108, page 96 (also 109); Jeffrey, volume iv, page 11; Hardie, page 71, 76

Following Hardie, this boundary ran from near the chapel at NT 535 451 down by the Milsie Burn to the Birkenside road, the course of which is shown by the county boundary. It followed this road southwards for a few hundred yards before making its way "obliquely" across to meet the Mere Burn. It then went up the burn to meet Malcolmesrode and followed this north as far as a road running to Milkeside. The charter is vague here about the course of Malcolmesrode but it is probably safe to assume that it had the line of the present day Southern Upland Way as this continues to follow the ridge, rather than continuing into the lands of Blainslie. If this is so, then Hardie may be correct in saying that the Milkeside road is shown by the county boundary (or at least part of it). The perambulation is completed by following a dyke from the side road up to the chapel.

Road to Windesdores
Looking towards Colmslie

Hardie takes the road from the Leader up the Kedslie Burn over to Colmslie and Whitelee, to cross the Gala Water near Crosslee and reach Windydoors some two miles further on.

This is mentioned in two Dryburgh charters relating to Elwinsley which lay adjacent to Kedsley. Willelmi de Lyndesay gave Dryburgh:

  "the sartum of Alwini from that part of the water (Leader) that is towards Caddesleya, and from the top of the same land as far as a certain old sign of a town and so by the road that leads to Windesdores..."
...sartum Alwini ex ilia parte aque versus Cadesley et a capite ejusdem sarti usque ad vetus quoddam opidi fignum et sic per viam que ducit Windesdores...
Liber Dryburgh, charters 110, 111, page 79; Hardie, pages 66, 58

Sartum is ground prepared for cultivation (see Hardie). The old town may have been the temporary Roman camp sited at Kedslie - NT 556 400. It is possible that the Hunter's Ford was used to cross the Leader - this is mentioned in Dryburgh charter 114 as opposite the Dunenisden (Kedslie Burn).

Galadean to Leader
Although the second road must be Malcolmesrode, it is not clear where the Galadean road ran. Hardie suggests it could have been either the "road to the wood" or the Windesdores road, though the former is more likely as it is only a kilometre from Galaden to Birkenside which is opposite Herdesley where the "road to the wood" ran.

The Galadean road is mentioned in Dryburgh charter 113 that gives the boundaries between Colmslie and Kedslie:
  "furthermore, on the south part of the grange of these canons, namely Caddesley, the boundary will be that road from the southern part of Glouden as the same road tends to the Ledre (Leader) and on the other hand to the road which leads to Lauder - the monks of Melrose are to have the south and the canons of Dryburgh the northern part. In like manner on the west of the aforesaid grange, the boundary will be that road which leads to Lauder as far as the wood which divides the plain called Cumbesley from a certain other plain which is to go to the brethren of Dryburgh; Cumbesley along with the wood, the brothers cede to Melrose. Furthermore, the canons of Dryburgh are to have from the eastern side of the aforesaid road as far as the aforesaid plain, while the monks of Melrose will have the western part."
Liber Dryburgh, charter 113, page 80; Hardie, page 67

Way dividing Wedale and Lauderdale;
way dividing Burnerig from Laudeparc; the "way towards the south"
In the reign of William the Lion (1165-1214), Melrose was granted the lands of Alewentchawis and Threpuude. The bounds of Alewentchawis (Allanshaws) were:
  "From Fairforde ascending to Staincross, and thence ascending to the bounds of Wedale, and thence by the way which divides Weddale from Lauuederdale as far as Alewentisheude, and thence by the bounds between Wedale and Lauueder as far as the way which separates Burnerig from Leudeparc, and along the same way descending to the stone cross, and thence transversely to the cross which is situated at the head of Fulewithenis, and thence by the way towards the south, near Harlaw, till you come opposite Morclow, and thence descending by a rivulet to Standenburne, and thence ascending as far as the boundaries of Threpuude." (OPS)
Liber Melros charter 79, page 69, Jeffrey vol 4, page 11; Hardie page 82; OPS, vol 1, page 281

Two views of the Girthgate, just south of Threepwood Farm

As the following charter shows that Fairforde was on the Allan, the initial part of the description could refer to the boundary running up to meet the county/parish boundary near Hareshawhead and the headwaters of the Halk Burn (Fasseburne). If so, Hardie would be correct in seeing this part of the charter as indicating a road (the one dividing Wedale from Lauderdale) that ran northwards over Sell Moor and which would reach the headwaters of the Allan.
The east-west stretch of the parish/county boundary would be the "bounds between Wedale and Lauder" although the placenames here are difficult
. Leudeparc is suggestive of Lauder Common hereabouts and there is a Brown Rig nearby which could have been transformed by metathesis from Burne Rig to Brun Rig - this could indicate an east-west road here, perhaps between Stow and Lauder.
The cross at the head of Fulwithenis is difficult to identify, though given that the Girthgate forms the county/parish boundary here, it must be the "way towards the south" where one would turn in the direction of Muircleugh and run down by the small stream to the Lauder Burn and then turn south towards Threepwood.
As the boundary must effectively have finished where it started, i.e. at Fairforde, it is interesting to note that the boundary ran to "the boundaries of Threepwood" and that the following charter says that Threepwood started at Fairforde. This allows us to place it on no more than a two kilometre stretch of the Allan.
Gilbert shows the road over Sell Moor, then one running along and beyond the northern part of the county/parish boundary (presumably a Stow- Lauder road). He shows the Girthgate as far as the river crossing SW of Threepwood, although he has the road over to Muircleugh starting higher up the Girthgate.

King's highway into the wood and Fairforde; road leading from the above
The description given fits the county/parish boundary on the north of Melrose parish, and Hardie gives full details of this.
The charter, from about 1180, concerned the settlement of a dispute between Melrose and Richard de Moreville over the wood and pasture between the Gala and Leader. Melrose was given rights of wood and pasture within these bounds:
Click for larger image -boundary dyke at Threepwood
Large dyke on the county boundary 50 metres east of Threepwood bridge on the south side of the burn

"Along the east side of the river Galhe upwards in the direction of their own property as far as the boundaries of Wedale, and also along the right boundaries of the land of Richard de Moreuille, viz., as the Mereburne falls into the Leder up to the source of the same Mereburne, and thence along the sike which issues from the Mereburne to the spot where that sike falls into the rivulet of Standene, and thence as far as Pot, and from Pot to Standande Stan, and thence as far as the King’s way where it enters the wood and divides the wood of Standene and of Threpwude, and thence by the same King’s way to Fairforde, and afterwards along that way which goes to the right as far as the foresaid bounds of Wedale, and thence by the right bounds of Wedale to the Galhe."
The wood of Threpwude was excepted from this although Melrose was allowed the pasture rights - it was bounded as follows:
"From Fairforde down by the Aloent to the moss which is between Threpwude and Cumbesleie Cnol, and thence by the same moss as far as the foresaid Pot."




Liber Melros, charter 111, page 100; OPS, volume 1, page 282; Hardie, page 72

Note: Faireforde must have been on the Allan upstream from Threepwood Moss (Cumbesleie Cnol must be Colmsiehill). Given that the Standene was the Lauder Burn (Hardie), a good fit with the wording would be a road running west towards Fairford (the King's way), and meeting a road going to the right, which is presumably the Girthgate.As the presumption must be that the wording fits the parish/county boundary, one would follow the Standene down to near Muircleugh (Morclow) where the Pot would have been, so that the King's way may have been the straight stretch of boundary leading to the Girthgate - Fairford would then have been on the continuation of this line. It is, however, not clear where this road originated or where it ended. Gilbert links it to the "road to the wood" of Dryburgh charter 112 and has it run over to join a road running up to Stow along the west side of the Allan. However, it seems too far north to be the same road, especially as it is said to have divided the wood of Standen (which seems to be to the north of Threepwood) and Threepwood. Perhaps it came from Lauder.

Road to the side of the church at Stow
This is referred to in a charter giving the results of an arbitration following a dispute between Melrose and the men of Stow, viz:

  "That the King’s forest, which was the pasture of the monks, extended to the road leading to the west side of the church of Wedale, and as far as the rivulet called Fasseburne, and should be theirs so that no one should share it with them." (OPS)
Liber Melros, charter 112, page 103; OPS, volume 1, page 282; Hardie, page 63

Note: There is not enough information here to determine the course of this road, other than that it seems to have come from the south or south-east. Both Hardie and Gilbert have a road coming from the south-east, more or less on the west of the Allan Water.