Probably the most powerful clan on the Scottish side of the Border. Members held official positions others were active and fierce reivers. Some were both. They were at feud with many of their neighbours including the equally active Elliots and the powerful Kerrs.
The road west from Hawick, the B711, is crammed with interest. A mile or so to the west of Alemoor Reservoir is Ballendean, the principal mustering ground of the Scotts when they prepared for battle.
As they went to war their battle cry was "Belleden!"
The principal permanent forms of defense in the Borders were castles, bastles and towers.
In simple terms, a bastle was a fortified farm house. The walls were thick, usually about four feet, and the roof was of stone slabs. There were two storeys, the ground floor being for animals and the family lived above. Almost all surviving examples of bastles are found in England within 20 miles of the border. The Black Middens Bastle is an excellent example.
Bellingham, Page 7.