The Joug


From the walls of a small white washed church, which lies to the south-east of Jedburgh, by the village of Oxnam, in the foothills of the Cheviot Hills, there hangs a joug, one of the finest remaining in the country.


A joug was a monstrous method employed by the Kirk Sessions during the 18th century for punishing backsliders who preferred to spend their Sunday doing things of their own choosing, rather than attending church.

The offender, by means of this contraption, was secured to an outside wall of the church, by means of an iron collar and chain. during the church service, on public view, as an example to all.

This practice was only discontinued towards the end of the 18th century when on unfortunate fainted and was strangled to death.

The joug was once commonly found outside many a church in the Borders, and now only a few examples remain.

The church can be located at map reference 80 700 184.

Border Stories Index