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  1. #1
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    Bailey & Bew Castle - in the Debatable Lands


    During my visit to Gilnockie Tower on Sunday, Ted Armstrong had spread out a map of the debatable lands which often changed allegiance between Scotland and England and were a favourite stamping ground of the Armstrongs and the Border Reivers, so I decided to head out that way this morning. Not sure if I'm in Scotland or England here as I'm standing on the little bridge over the Kershope Burn which for several miles of its course marks the boundary between Scotland and England. The camera is facing west, so the background on the left is in England, showing a small corner of the vast Kershope Forest.

    While the English bank of the Kershope Burn is planted with commercial forestry, on the Scottish side is moorland sheep grazing, and here is a view of a sheep grazing in Scotland, taken from England.

    Crossing the grain of the land into another valley I came upon Graham's Onsett.

    This turned out to be a farm, proudly flying the Union flag.

    Bailey is a district name covering the valley of the Bailey Water. The main centre of the district is Bailey Mill.
    Vice-President and Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.

  2. #2
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    guid yins!

    ta Alex...




  3. #3
    Join Date
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    The old mill is now converted into holiday apartments.

    There are stables and horse riding is available along the trails once used by the Border Reivers through the debatable lands.

    The wee post office opens on Monday and Thursday mornings only.

    The key stone in the arch bears the initials of the first owner, Roby Dodgson, and the year of building.

    There is a well stocked bar on the premises and lunches are served in summer.
    I had a very pleasant morning coffee here.
    Self catering and bed and breakfast accommodation is available.
    This is in a sparsely populated area and would offer a very different type of holiday experience from what you would find in Dumfries, Glasgow or Edinburgh. Would ideally suit those who are into walking or horse riding.
    www.baileycottages-riding-racing.com

    Looking back down the road to the bridge over the Bailey Water.

    A party of riders was setting out from the stables while I was there.
    Next we will head a further four miles to the village of Bewcastle with its historic castle and church.
    Last edited by cessna152towser; 10th April 07 at 12:23 PM.
    Vice-President and Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.

  4. #4
    Kilted KT is offline Membership Revoked for repeated rule violations.
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    excellent pics all!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    There was a Roman Fort at Bewcastle in early Christian times and from the edge of the site of the fort we can look down on the little village of Bewcastle, proudly flying the English flag of St. George.

    After the Romans abandoned England, the stone from their fort provided a ready source of stone and a church and a castle were later built on parts of the site of the original fort. The present church building, seen here from the castle, is relatively modern.

    The church yard, showing the other side of the church building.

    The oldest stone in the church yard is believed to date from around 700 to 800 AD. Archaeologists have been able to translate the runes engraved on the stone to the extent that it is believed to have been erected by three people to commemorate a fourth one.

    Some of the carvings on the stone are still clear, but unfortunately the Celtic Cross which would have capped the stone has long since broken away.
    Vice-President and Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    There is a memorial in the church yard to the fallen of the 1914-1918 war.

    The villages who were killed in action are named on the memorial.

    Some of the fallen are also buried in the church yard and have individual tombstones.
    Vice-President and Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    5th April 07
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    Wish I was there...

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    The weather here has not been kind to the sandstone and the engravings of many of the older stones are faded. Bewcastle was at the heart of Routledge territory in Reiver days and I could not fail to notice that even today this family name continues to occur frequently on the more modern graves.








    Though there are also a few Armstrongs buried here:-


    Other family names which occur frequently in this cemetery include Waugh, Moscrop, Cavers, Graham and Lauder.

    Beyond the wall of the cemetery is Bew Castle, subject of my next post.
    Vice-President and Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    There was castle erected here in Norman times around 1092, which is believed to have been destroyed by Scots invaders in 1173, and the castle which we see today was built between 1361 and 1371 by John de Strivelyn, one of the king's generals.

    The south wall survives almost to its original height.

    The castle was originally surrounded by a moat, but this has long since dried up, leaving a grassy trench all round.

    The castle stands on a lonely windswept spot. To the east is the vast wilderness of Spadeadam, one of the largest uninhabited areas in Britain, used by the government in the 1950's for testing engines for the Blue Streak rocket, and now used by the Royal Air Force as a practice bombing range.

    A self portrait within the area of the castle walls, Black Watch acrylic kilt from Union Kilts.
    Vice-President and Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    The gatehouse in the south-west corner is the best surviving part of the castle.

    The Scots had captured the castle in 1401, when it was the home of Christiana de Middleton and her son John, who were taken prisoner and ransomed, and after the English regained it, the Duke of Gloucester ordered that it be garrisoned against future attack by the Scots and the gatehouse was added around 1478.

    The gatehouse stonework is still standing almost to its original height.
    The castle was attacked and its outbuildings burned by the Armstrongs in 1541, as revenge for the earlier murder of Ambrose Armstrong when he had been caught thieving cattle, and the castle itself was ransacked and burnt by Border Reivers in 1583.

    Standing in the gatehouse.
    Last edited by cessna152towser; 10th April 07 at 12:21 PM.
    Vice-President and Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.

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