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Reiver Truce Days and Locations

Reiver Days of Truce and Locations The Wardens of opposing Marches agreed upon a day and place of meeting usually on the frontier but sometimes elsewhere. In the west, Dumfries and Carlisle were convenient venues, particularly in the winter. Notice…

Reiver Routes

Reiving Routes The following text is from text in the Callendar of Border Papers and dates from the 16th century. It gives an impression of the routes that Reivers may have taken on their raids to steal cattle and any…

Battle of Otterburn with Harry Hotspur

Harry Hotspur At The Battle of Otterburn Harry Hotspur or Henry Percy at The Battle of Otterburn Henry Percy or “Hotspur” played a prominent part in Border warfare in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. He was defeated and…

Battle of Flodden Field 1513 “False Borderers”

Flodden Field, 1513 “False Borderers” Flodden Field, Battlefield 1513, Branxton, Northumberland and the behaviour of the borderers Flodden was fought on 9th September 1513 and was a disaster for Scotland. As night fell over the battlefield her King, James IV,…

Wardens Meeting Place At Wark Castle

Wardens Meeting Place At Wark Castle Wardens Meeting Place and Ford over the River Tweed below Wark Castle in Northumberland The remains of Wark Castle overlook the River Tweed and one of the main fording place of the river from…

The East March of England

The East March of England Map of the East March of England; boundaries and generalities. The English East March is the northern part of Northumberland. It borders the Scots East March to the north where the river Tweed defines the…

The Middle March of England

Map of the Middle March of England; boundaries and generalities. The English Middle March was that part of Northumberland not included in the East March. The Cheviots formed most of the frontier line and though they were a barrier to…

Wark Castle, Wark on Tweed, Northumberland

Wark Castle, Wark on Tweed Wark Castle was built in the 12th century to guard one of the main fords of the Tweed and the remains overlook the river and village from a gigantic mound. The castle was a focus…

Thirlwall Castle, Greenhead, Northumberland

Thirlwall Castle, Greenhead, Northumberland Thirlwall Castle stands on high ground above the Tipalt Burn near Greenhead in Northumberland. The building is entirely constructed from Roman stone which demonstrates why the Roman Wall has disappeared in this vicinity. The ruins were…

Shittleheugh Pele, Redesdale, Northumberland

Shittleheugh Pele, Pele-House or Bastle, Redesdale, Northumberland The shattered remains of Shittleheugh stand high above the river Rede and are a conspicuous landmark in Redesdale. The side walls have fallen but the gable ends still stand to almost their full…

Hole Bastle, Bellingham, Northumberland

Hole Bastle, Bellingham, Northumberland Hole Bastle stands between Woodburn and Bellingham and is a most interesting example of a fortified farmhouse of a type once common on the Border. In times past the ground floor was used to house livestock…

Harbottle Castle, Coquetdale, Northumberland

Harbottle Castle, Coquetdale, Northumberland Harbottle Castle, at the western end of a line of strongholds in Coquetdale, was in a position of importance in the defence of the Border. The castle is sited about eight miles from the frontier and…

Great Tosson Tower, Coquetdale, Northumberland

Great Tosson Tower, Coquetdale, Northumberland Great Tosson Tower stands close under the Simonside Hills in Coquetdale a mile or so above Rothbury. The tower was one of a series of fortifications guarding Coquetdale where its situation, high on the hillside,…

Ford Castle, Ford, Northumberland

Ford Castle, Ford, Northumberland Ford Castle stands about six miles below the Border in the valley of the river Till, a tributary of the Tweed. William Heron was given a licence to crenellate or fortify his house at Ford in…

Etal Castle, Etal, Northumberland

Etal Castle, Etal, Northumberland Etal Castle stands about four miles below the Border on the river Till, a tributary of the Tweed. The castle is deserted and ruinous as it has been since James IV captured and dismantled the place…

Elsdon Tower or Pele, Elsdon, Northumberland

Elsdon Tower or Pele, Elsdon, Northumberland Three miles east of Otterburn, the old grey pele-tower at Elsdon stands on the high bank of the Elsdon Burn and dominates the dwellings that fringe the village green. The arms of the Umfravilles,…

Vicar’s Pele, Corbridge, Northumberland

The Vicar's Pele at Corbridge, Northumberland The Vicar's Pele stands well preserved, repaired and re-roofed within the churchyard in Corbridge. It was first built in the early 14th century and we know that in 1415 it had become the dwelling…

Cocklaw Tower, North Tyne Valley, Chollerton, Northumberland

Cocklaw Tower, North Tyne Valley, Chollerton, Northumberland The substantial remains of Cocklaw Tower stand in the valley of the North Tyne about a mile below Chollerton. The ruined tower stands in isolation in a farmyard and seems to be in…

Akeld Bastle House, Wooler, Northumberland

Akeld Bastle House Akeld Bastle stands two miles west of Wooler in Northumberland, on the edge of the Cheviots. It was described as a “Lytle fortelett castle-house without a barmekyn” by Sir Robert Bowes in his list of Border holds…

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