ROXBURGH, a parish and village, in the county of Roxburgh; containing, with the village of Hieton, 979 inhabitants, of whom 123 are in the village of Roxburgh, 4 miles (S. W.) from Kelso. This place, which in old documents is written Rochesburgh and Rokesburgh, appears to have been formerly a town of considerable importance; and there are still some remains of its ancient castle overhanging the river Teviot, but affording only a very inadequate memorial of its original strength and magnificence. The town was burned in the 14th and 15th centuries, and having been each time rebuilt chiefly of wood, very little of it is left: only a few indistinct traces of its former existence are occasionally found in the present village. The castle was taken and destroyed by Robert Bruce in 1312, and again in 1460, when James II., who was present at the siege, was killed by the bursting of a cannon: the spot on which the king fell is marked out by a yew-tree planted by the Duke of Roxburghe. The queen, after the death of that monarch, assumed the government in the name of her son, and continuing the siege, the castle, which had for years been the seat of lawless violence, was reduced and utterly demolished. In 1547, the Duke of Somerset, whose army was stationed in the neighbourhood, repaired a portion of the castle, sufficient for the reception of an English garrison; traces of these repairs may be discovered among the ruins, but of the original castle, the site of which is overgrown with trees, nothing of any importance remains. Adjoining the village are the ruins of Roxburgh Tower, called also Wallace Tower, and Sunlaws Tower, situated near the river; it formed part of a chain of communication between Roxburgh Castle and others on the rivers Kale and Jed. These were all demolished in 1545; and of that of Roxburgh only the ground-plan can be traced, and some of the apartments on the basement, strongly arched over as a place of shelter for cattle.
   The parish is bounded on the north for several miles by the river Tweed, and is of very irregular form, about eight miles in length, varying from one mile to five miles in breadth, and comprising 7573 acres, of which 5617 are arable, 1735 meadow and pasture, and 200 woodland and plantations. The surface is generally flat, though in some parts undulating, and rising into eminences of considerable elevation, of which two at the south-western extremity, the Dunslaw and the Penelheugh, the latter bordering on Crailing parish, rise to the height of 500 feet above the level of the sea. The river Teviot flows through the parish; and there are numerous excellent springs affording an abundant supply of water. The soil varies very much, being in some parts sandy and gravelly, and in others a fine rich loam. The prevailing systems of husbandry are the four and five shift courses, which are found to be well adapted to the nature of the soil; and the crops are usually favourable, having, since the more extensive use of lime as manure, rapidly improved. The plantations are well managed; the trees are chiefly oak, ash, elm, birch, and beech, with various kinds of pine. A remarkable elm, called the Trysting-tree, appears to have been more than two centuries in attaining its present growth, but it has lately begun to decay. The different grasses thrive in the parish, especially the red clover, of which a sample of the seed exhibited at a meeting of the Highland Society at Glasgow, some years since, was much admired. The farm houses and buildings are generally substantial and in good condition; the lands are well inclosed, and the fences kept with great care. The substratum is chiefly sandstone of the secondary formation, varied with rocks of basalt, greenstone, and greywacke: under the sandstone is a large mass of rock called the Trow Craigs, about 450 feet in breadth, extending into the Tweed, and forming an immense dam over which the water is precipitated in a fall of sixteen feet. The sandstone is not much valued for building purposes, and few of the quarries are regularly worked. There are fisheries on the rivers; but the quantity of fish taken of late has been inconsiderable, and the rental of the whole does not exceed £60 per annum. Fairnington, a plain ancient mansion, and Sunlaws, a handsome modern house in the Elizabethan style, are the chief seats.
   A fair is held on the 5th of August on St. James' Green, and is well attended; it is chiefly for horses and cattle, and for the hiring of shearers and other servants. Considerable sales of wool are made by the farmers of the surrounding district, and generally to English dealers. Near the village of Roxburgh is a ferry over the Teviot; and it was lately in contemplation to construct a railway to Berwick, for the greater facility of obtaining coal, lime, and other articles, and for opening a more profitable market for the surplus produce of the parish. There are some good roads, of which one, leading from Kelso to Melrose, commands a beautiful view of the surrounding country, of the windings of the Tweed, and of the Teviot, over which is a bridge of handsome character, uniting this parish with that of Kelso. The principal fuel is coal, brought from Northumberland at a considerable expense; but in the western parts of the parish is abundance of peat. The rateable annual value of Roxburgh is £9248. It is in the presbytery of Kelso and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of the Duke of Roxburghe: the minister's stipend is £225. 2. 7., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £20 per annum. The church, situated in the village of Roxburgh, was built in 1752, and substantially repaired in 1828, and gives accommodation to 500 persons. The members of the Free Church have no place of worship. There are two parochial schools, one in Roxburgh and one in Hieton, both affording a liberal education; the master of the former has a salary of £34. 4., and of the latter, one of £17. 2.; and the fees on the average, for each, vary from £12 to £15 per annum. Each of the masters has also a house and garden rent-free. About half way between the towers of Roxburgh and Ormiston are the remains of a camp, two miles up the river Teviot; its origin is unknown, but it is generally supposed to have been an out-post for the better defence and security of those fortresses. Part of the Roman road from the Frith of Forth to York passes through the south-west of the parish. There are three caves at Sunlaws, which appear to have been excavated at a very remote period, probably as places of refuge, or for the concealment of cattle and other property, during the frequent incursions that took place in the earlier periods of Scottish history.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Roxburgh [2] — Roxburgh (spr. róxböro), schott. Adelstitel, den Sir Robert Ker, ein eifriger Royalist, 1600 als Lord und 1616 als Graf von R. erhielt. John Ker, der fünfte Graf, wurde 1707 zum Herzog von R. erhoben, und mit dem vierten Herzog, William Ker,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Roxburgh — [räks′bə reshir΄, räks′bə reshərräks′bər ə] former county & former district of S Scotland: also, for the county, Roxburghshire [räks′bə reshir΄, räks′bə reshər] …   English World dictionary