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Scottish Borders

Come to Hawick and you will be following in the footsteps of may who have made the journey before you - Iron Age settlers, Romans and Vikings. The Saxons called the town "Haggawick" which means the settlement hedged around by hills. St. Cuthbert lived for some time on the grassy knowe where St. Mary's Church now stands and the Normans built a wooden tower of Hawick Motte to control the Barony of Hawick. This was replaced in the 13th Century by a substancial tower of stone where the rivers Slitrig and Teviot meet. Through time the powerful Douglas family governed the town and Sir James Douglas granted the town its charter in 1537.

The town was granted burgh barony status on 15th June 1511, this meant that the town was able to hold public markets and these originally took place in the High Street near to the Town Hall. The Mercat Cross was removed from this location in 1762 as it was impeding traffic. Market Day was usually a Thursday and there are records which show that Hawick had markets of the following types: flesh, butter, meal, salt and a horsemarket.

An exciting and dangerous place in the middle ages, Hawick was the centre of reiving as the Border was a frontier land, a cauldron of strife, a cockpit in which were fought out the destinies of neighbouring kingdoms. The excitement of these times is encapsulated in the Common Riding ceremonies, held annually in early June, which commemorates the victory of the young men of Hawick at Hornshole in 1514, a year after the Battle of Flodden.

More settled days saw the development of industry - Baillie John Hardy introduced sticking frames to the town in 1771 - a small beginning which let to our world famous knitwear industry.

The completion of the Waverely Line provided the vital transport link with the outside world - although axed in 1969, walkers and rail enthusiasts will still find it possible to walk the route of the old railway line. The turbulent history of the Borders is unique and well chronicled in the magnificent country houses and estates built by the powerful lords of the area - which to this day, stand further testament to our proud heritage.

Hawick has a long and colourful history which can be traced back at least as far as the 12th century, when a Norman family - the Lovels - had land granted to them in and around Hawick by King David I. The oldest part of the town is the area between St Mary's Kirk and the Motte, in particular the Drumlanrig Square area. Both the Kirk and the Motte date from the 12th century when the Lovel family held Hawick. From here the town spread down Howefate to Sandbed and over the Slitrig to the area that is now High Street. By the end of the 14th century the lands of Hawick had passed to the Douglasses of Drumlanrig, who built Drumlanrig's Tower.

Today, much of the medieval town has been removed by later developments but there are still many interesting places which you can visit.

For further information on Hawick visit Welcome to Teridom



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