the grimsay press

Upper Annandale: Its history and traditions (1901)
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By Marchbank, Agnes
ISBN 1845301455
SERIES Ecclefechan Carlyle Society
Paperback  158 pages
Published 15 March 2013
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"UPPER ANNANDALE begins at the little mossy ditch in the ravine, that was of old times called Corrie of Annan, and later, in the days of the Raiders, the " Deil's Beef Tub." It ends, as Upper Annandale, and becomes simply Annandale, when it has gathered to itself the waters of Burnock, Evan, Moffat, Wamphray, Kinnel, and other smaller burns, and, swollen into a mighty river, goes onward to the Solway. The Annan rises in a nest of hills-high, rugged, heathery, wind-swept mountains many of them. Hartfell, the highest mountain in the South of Scotland, is close to Annan Corrie. The mountains that stretch away on the west have Queensberry, giant-like, towering over them. The cluster of hills on the east have the mist-crowned Etterick Pen, that throws its shadow to where the Dryfe, creeping along like a silver thread, finds its way to the rocks at Boreland, and, leaping like a mad thing, drives down its glen to join the Annan at Dryfe Sands. It is a land of poetry, of romance, of history. It has in all ages been a land of liberty. Rebels fled to it. There has always been sympathy with rebels in Upper Annandale. The worst word they have got is " puir sowls." Claverhouse, writing home from Upper Annandale, declared the people were "all rebels at heart." It has been said, " Blessed are the people who have no history." Upper Annandale has not been blessed in this way. The glens are covered with green knowes, that were once hill-forts of the Celt, with other grass-covered forts, left by the Romans, and with the ruins of strong Border Peels, from whence, once on a day, warriors went out whistling, "Wha daur meddle wi' me!" and came home to find the " hare sitting on the hearthstone." Life was full of surprises then. We have only ruins to show the stranger. No fine old castles, no fine old bridges, no fine old churches. We have to thank our friends on the other side of the Border for that. Perhaps a few on this side as well. There is one consolation, they got as good as they gave. The debt was paid with interest. If we have not got anything else, we have a race of Borderers who, in all times of our nation's trouble, have been a wall of defence, and are "aye ready." It is said that the people of Upper Annandale are a strange mixture of Pict, Celt, Roman, .Saxon, and Scandinavian, and that the types are to be traced in the features, and in the manners, and in the speech of the dwellers of our glens. This may be true. If so, it has been a good fighting mixture. It has made men who made history."

© The Grimsay Press, an imprint of Zeticula Ltd., Unit 13, 196 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4AT, Scotland