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Roads in the 1600's: The Maps of Timothy Pont
Home > Roads in the 1600's > Teviotdale

Teviotdale

Overview 
Pont Texts
River Crossings
Placenames

Overview
All of the river crossings and several of the placenames relate to long distance routes. Caddon Water and Gatehoopeknow suggest a route to Peebles and we know from other sources that Brigheuch was linked to the Minchmoor road which ran over to Traquhair and would have allowed Peebles and ultimately Clydesdale to be reached from Selkirk. Caddon Water also seems to relate to an early Selkirk Edinburgh road. Neufird is a ford used by a later route to Moffat and Hoscott helps to confirm that the Craik Cross Roman road was in use as a via regia in the middle ages. Houpaslett nearby is off the line of this road so may indicate more local use. The early bridge at Hawick suggests a route south towards Langholm and that at Bonjedburgh would have allowed Jedburgh to be accessed from the north.

In the Melrose area there was a wooden toll bridge that probably gave access to Selkirk and Hawick from Edinburgh and Lauder; Craikkesfoorde and Rippeth may have been connected to the abbeys gaining access to their holdings north of here. At Kelso there were known to have been bridges both at Roxburgh and Kelso in the middle ages allowing access to Berwick, Edinburgh, Jedburgh etc.

It is not known what route "Yetholm" might refer to though it is on a natural route between Wooler and Kelso. Gaitshaw is probably connected with Hounam Grange as an early charter refers to a road in the area. The remaining placenames are suggestive of local routes though Stunleyford is on a drove road.

A number of spittals are shown as they sometimes catered for pilgrims and travellers. Until more is known about the purpose of specific spittals it is best not to place too much reliance on them as route indicators.

Texts written by or derived from Pont indicate a number of routes existed and these are listed below.

Larger map

River Crossings      Placenames  

Note: Gatehoopknow and Smailholm and Ednam Spittels are not shown on the Teviotdale map

Caddon WaterGalasheelsSlitrig WaterBonjedburghBridgend, KelsoBriggendBrigheuchCraikkesfoordeEckfurdGatehouse CottGaitshawHoscottHouppaslettMaisondieuNoufirdRippethRutherfordSpittelbank, EckfordSpittal, AncrumSpittal-on-RuleStunleyfoordWadeshillKirk Yetholm and Yetholm

Map based on quarter-inch OS maps, published 1935 & 1945.
With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Pont Texts
A number of texts written by or derived from Pont gives distances between towns. It is very likely that these relate to routes because the distances must have been measured and there would be little point in knowing the mileage unless people were travelling between these places. In some cases he refers directly to "the way to" or gives a list of intermediate places as if they were on a route. He also shows river crossings that must have been used for journeys. There is in any case evidence from other sources that there were routes at this time. The texts can be viewed on the NLS Pont Website and are also in MacFarlane's Geographical Collections.

So far as this map goes, the following entries indicate routes through this area:
   - Berwik Kelso 20 Later maps show this running though Coldstream;
   - Haick Jedburg 8 From later maps this probably went directly over to Denholm from Jedburgh and then directly to Hawick;
   - Jedburg Selkirk 8 This would have used the crossing near Bonjedburgh - see immediately below;
   - Jedburg Kelso 7 Later maps suggest the route went by a still existing track over to Crailing and then followed the line of the      present day road through Eckford to Kelso;
   - Selkirk Edinburgh 22 m (see NLS) The early route seems to have used the bridge at Caddon Foot and then went up by      Clovenfords
   - Annand Toun and Hermitage Castle in Liddisdail 24 m This would have run up the Liddel valley where there was an early      route
   - Annand and Haik in Teviot dail 28 m; Annand and Jedburg 36 It is unclear if the Hawick route went through Langholm or up Liddesdale past Hermitage. The distance given between Hawick and Jedburgh is 8 miles (28 + 8 = 36 miles) which suggests the Annan to Jedburgh route went through Hawick although a more direct Jedburgh route by Note O'The Gate was available at this time.

River Crossings

Near Cadanly, just above River Tweed
Identification
Near Caddonfoot on Caddon Water just north of River Tweed, NT 449 352
Associated route
The Military Survey shows two roads running from Selkirk here. One keeps to the east of the Caddon Water and runs towards Dalkeith, the other runs to Innerleithen and Peebles. The record of cannon being transported from Peebles to Selkirk via Darnick (near Melrose) rather than the Minchmoor suggests a route existed through Innerleithen along or near the Tweed (The Roads that led to Edinburgh etc, Harry R G Inglis, PSAS, Vol. 50, (1915-16), p. 43). It is not clear if at the time of Pont a route to Peebles followed the Tweed as the present day road does or went up to Clovenfords as shown on the Military Survey map. 

At Galasheels, on river south of Gala Water
Identification
Crossing stream in Galashiels, NT 490 360
Associated route
The orientation of this stream favours a route on a NW-SE line but it is difficult to say what any through route might have been, perhaps Selkirk to Dalkeith if the Tweed was crossed at Boldside as suggested by the Military Survey map. The town of Galashiels did not exist at the time.

At Haick on Slittrick Water
Identification
Link to image and text on GooglebooksThere was a known mediaeval bridge in Hawick over the Slitrig, said to have been built in the time of Alexander II. NT 502 144
Associated route
Given that it was in a town it may have been primarily for local convenience though it would also be useful for those travelling longer distances. MacFarlane (Geographical Collections, Vol.2) has a distance of 28 miles between Hawick and Annan suggesting a route which presumably went by Langholm. There were also links to Jedburgh and Selkirk.

 

 

At Bonjedburgh
Identification
Bridge over Teviot at present day Bridgend, 1 mile SE of Ancrum, NT 639 237
Associated route
MacFarlane (Geographical Collections, Vol.2) shows distances between Jedburgh and Selkirk and Jedburgh and Kelso which imply routes existed in 1646 when this list of distances was made up. Melrose is not mentioned. MacKenzie in Lilliesleaf and Its Old Roads (Transactions of the Hawick Archaelogical Society, 1947) gives an interesting account of the two mediaeval Selkirk to Jedburgh routes, both of which would have used this crossing. The bridge is mentioned in 1547.

 

Placenames

Bridgend, Kelso
Identification
At south end of present day bridge over the Tweed. NT 727 337. No bridge is shown on the map but this may be because the bridge was broken down by the local people as a defensive measure during Hertford’s campaign of 1547. The bridge was of stone and erected in 1330. (Image of ferry in the 1680's from Slezer's Theatrum Scotiae - NLS site)
Associated route
Although the bridge would have facilitated movement between Roxburgh and Kelso, its function was probably more related to a route to Edinburgh by Smailholm and Legerwood (The Roads that led to Edinburgh etc, Harry R G Inglis, PSAS, Vol. 50, (1915-16), p. 40) and would also have given access to Coldstream, Berwick, Jeburgh and Hawick.

Briggend, near Melrose
Identification
Link to original and text on Google Books - page 153Bridgend, 2 miles west of Melrose, NT 520 354. Although not shown here, there was a known bridge (NMRS record) at this location at the time. Inglis (op.cit., p.43 )suggests it may have been destroyed in 1544 at the same time as Melrose Abbey.
Associated route
Traditionally it is thought to have been associated with the Girthgate that ran up to Soutra but Inglis thinks it would have been used between Lauder and Selkirk, Hawick and Jedburgh.

Brigheuch
Identification
Near Bridgelands, 1½ miles NNE of Selkirk, NT 481 304. Kelso Abbey had land on both sides of the River Ettrick, with pasture rights on part of Minchmoor, granted them by Alexander II. A condition of the grant was that they maintain the bridge existing at the Ettrick.
Associated route
There is undoubtedly a connection with the Minchmoor route both because of the pasture rights and the references to Minchmoor in Kelso charters relating to Lesmahagow. That said, it is not completely clear where the route was. Inglis (Ancient Border Highways: The Minchmoor (Catrail) Road, the Wheel Causeway, the Annandale Forest Road, the Well Path, and the Enterkin, Harry R G Inglis, PSAS, Vol. 58 (1923-24), pps 203-23) gives an interesting account of the Minchmoor, noting that there was an original path from the river crossing which later became turnpiked on its western stretch between Troquhair and Brown Knowe, where it ran south to the Yarrow valley. This suggests that the original Minchmoor road ran from the bridge over Lingley Hill and Peat Law to the Three Brethren, Broomy Law and Brown Knowe and then took up the line of the Minchmoor turnpike to Troquhair. It is not clear, however, given the absence of the bridge in Pont’s day what the later status of this route was.

Craikkesfoorde
Identification
Craigsford, on riverside just west of Earlston. NT 570 382
Associated route
Stobie’s map (1770) suggests this was used to access Earlston both from Melrose and St Boswells. It would also have served local needs.

Eckfurd
Identification
Eckford, 5 miles SSW of Kelso on road to Jedburgh. NT 703 265. The old 6” map (sheet XV) shows an “Eck Ford” over the Teviot. J S M Macdonald in the Placenames of Roxburghshire derives it from the personal name Ecca which places it well into Anglian times.
Associated route
The Military Survey shows the Hawick-Kelso road crossing the Kale rather than the Teviot at the “Eck Ford” which suggest a local use at least in later times.

Gatehouse Cott, near Roull
Identification
Gatehousecote, 1 mile NE Bonchester Bridge, NT 599 132. J S M Macdonald (Placenames of Roxburghshire, Hawick Archaeological Society, 1991) gives this as “the cottage beside the goat shed”.
Associated route
Early maps do not offer any particular support for a road near this place though as the area was well populated in mediaeval times with a settlement at Town O’Rule, one miles to the west and a grange at Abbotsrule, one mile to the east, there may have been a local track at that time.

Gaitshawtour and Gaitshaw
Identification
Gateshaw, near Hownam Grange. NT 779 225
Associated route
J S M Macdonald (op.cit.) interprets Gaitshaw as Goat’s Wood but a doubt must remain as the Military Survey shows a road running south from Morebattle to Hownam and beyond. Given the possibility that the Military Survey was not completed in this area, Stobie’s map gives a much better indication of the road network. His map shows that Morebattle would give access to Eckford, Yetholm and Kelso to the north and a road into England in the south.

In any case Hownam was a grange of Melrose Abbey and records of the late 1100’s refer to a road across the lands of Grubeshude (see Stobie for Gribbet, NT 780 236) where the monks could take their wagons to and from Howden where Gateshaw was located (Scottish Monastic Landscapes, Derek Hall, Tempus 2006, p.155).

Hosccott
Identification
Hoscote in Roberton parish, NT 3911. Macdonald (op.cit) suggests the name could indicate a lodging house for travellers although she notes that other interpretations are possible.
Associated route
Hoscote lies on the route taken by the road shown on the Military Survey along the Borthwick Water which itself is probably the Roxburgh - Annandale road mentioned in early charters and is also on the presumed continuation of the Craik Cross Roman road.

Houppaslett
Identification
Either Howpasley at NT 346 076 or Old Howpasley at NT 349 067 just south of Craik. Macdonald (op.cit) gives the meaning as “the valley with the sunken path”.
Associated route
It may relate to a route shown on Ainslie running from Craik to Falnash and Teviothead, 8 miles SW of Hawick but this is not certain.

Maisondieu
Identification
Maisondieu, 1½ miles SSE of Kelso, about 400 metres north of farmhouse. NT 714 327. NMRS record.
Associated route
It cannot be said with certainty if its function included catering for travellers. In any case it is so near Roxburgh to which roads ran that it would not offer much additional evidence in support of these.

Noufird
Identification
Howford at Ettrickbridge End, NT 391 243
Associated Route
The Military Survey (c.1750) has a route from Moffat to Selkirk pass over the Ettrick Water at this point. A bridge (NMRS record) was built here in 1628 but was ruinous by 1715.

Rippeth
Identification
Redpath, 2½ miles SSE of Earlston, NT 585 385
Associated route
Given the presumed age of this place name it is tempting to think that a road would have ran north through here from Dryburgh Abbey but there does not seem to be any record of such a road. Another possibility is that it was on a road between Melrose and Earlston but early maps do not support this.

Rutherford
Identification
Rutherford Mill, 3 miles E of Maxton, on River Tweed, NT 662 312. The 1863 6” OS map (sheet IX) shows a ford at Rutherford Mill although there was a ferry one mile to the west at NT 650 319. Macdonald (op.cit) suggests the name means “cattle ford” from the Old English hryther and ford.
Associated route
The Military Survey and Stobie show a road running past Rutherford Mill on the south side of the river and on the north side, one about ¼ mile from the ferry but more than a mile from the ford; this suggests that there was no through route. The name itself is more suggestive of a local route.

Spittelbank, near Eckford
Identification
Although not appearing on later maps the location would have been on the north side of the Kale Water near Eckford, NT 71 27 approx.
Associated route
This location would place it on the Jedburgh to Kelso route but there is no supporting evidence for a spittal here or that it would have catered for travellers.

Spittell
Identification
Spittal near to Ancrum, NT 647 247
Associated route
Although little is known about this spittal (NMRS 62SW6), it does lie very near to Dere Street which may indicate use by travellers.

Spittell, east of Denhoome
Identification
Spittal-on-Rule near Denholm, NT 589 199
Associated route
This is listed as a leper hospital with a foundation date of 1425/26 (Scottish Monastic Landscapes, Derek Hall, Tempus 2006) so would not have catered for travellers. It was however sited very near the Hawick - Jedburgh road which would have facilitated the collecting of alms.

Stunleyfoord, near Leithope Forest
Identification
The best fit is a ford shown on the old 6” map (sheet XXXV) over the Long Burn in Leithope Forest, 9 miles SE of Jedburgh. NT 739 009.
Associated route
A track is shown on the 1st edition 1” map (and present day maps) running from Byrness in Northumberland (on A68, 5 miles south of Carter Bar) through the ford and over to Edgerton (NT 70 11). On the 6" map it is marked as a drove road. The Thieves Knowe that it passes north of the ford suggests it was used by raiders before droving became established after the Union of the Crowns in the early 1600's.

Wadeshill and Wadespinnle, Southdean
Identification
On Jed Water at NT 650 100 approx.
Associated route
These are included because the wade element may indicate a ford. Wadeshill does not appear on any other early map and no roads are shown in the area. If the name does refer to a ford, it would probably have been of local use only.

Yettum and K of Yettum
Identification
Yetholm/Kirk Yetholm. NT 82 28.
Associated route
Although the name appears in the 1100’s (J S M Macdonald, op.cit) it is not clear what road the “yett” refers to. It could be a very old name given the Anglian settlement in the area. The Military Survey and Stobie show roads running up the Beaumont towards Wooler, south along the Beaumont and across the Cheviots, towards Kelso and, on the Military Survey, one along the course of the present day Pennine Way.

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