Liddesdale, Scotland, three miles from the English Border.
For Canonbie and district use O.S. map No. 85
Canonbie lies within the area which was known as the Debateable Land, a great tract of land which was under the jurisdiction of neither the Scots nor the English and thus became a refuge for all the outlaws and undesirables in the region.
Liddesdale was the territory of the infamous Armstrong Clan, the clan which had the reputation of being the wildest of all the riding families on both sides of the Border.
While the Border was dominated by the Armstrongs on the Scottish side, the Forsters and the Grahams held sway on the English side. Border ties were stronger than national affiliations, families having more in common with their neighbours than with members of the own nationality living beyond the Borders.
There was a Priory once at Canonbie, hence its name, but it was destroyed by the English in 1542. The stones were used in the building of Canonbie Bridge.
The site lies
immediately left of the north side of Canonbie Bridge.
It occupied a strong defensive site once the seat of the Lairds of
It was the home of Johnny Armstrong of Gilnockie and was unfinished at the time of his death.
It can be reached from Canonbie bridge. Not much of the castle remains.
Lamyford, near Kershopefoot, was one of the places where the wardens of the Marches met to settle international disputes. A jury was convened consisted of six Englishmen selected by the Scots and six Scotsmen selected by the English. The court would exchange grievances and seek to settle all disputes amicably.
To the east of Kershopefoot stretches a great area of moorland, crossed by innumerable tracks, many only known to the moss-troopers. Much of it is now an equally featureless forest of conifers.
Driving north from Canonbie you will come upon the farms of Harelaw and
Caulside. (map ref: 79 45 80) Here you could linger a while and
consider that you are now in the very heart of reiver country, for it
was here there lived the most active and the most feared of all the
Today, Liddesdale is quite sparsely populated.
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