If you’re interested in history in Cumbria, there’s
plenty for you in the Debatable Lands. This area was once a wild and dangerous place
where the infamous Border Reivers warred for 350 years. Earlier still, the area was
once a hive of Roman activity. Their story is vividly brought to life at Carlisle’s
Tullie House Museum, interpretation centres at Newcastleton and Bewcastle and other
sites nearby, including the world famous Hadrian’s Wall.
Take a tour around the
parishes to discover the ruins of mediaeval summer shielings up in the moors and
the remains of the peel houses, once occupied by the clans.
Discover your roots -
Many of the gravestones show the coats of arms of all the old reiving families including
Armstrong, Beattie, Bell, Bromfield, Carnaby, Carr, Cecil, Charlton, Collingwood,
Craw, Cranston, Croser, Curwen, Davison, Dacre, Dixon, Dodd, Douglas, Dunne, Elliott,
Ellwood, Fenwick, Forster, Gilchrist, Glendinning, Graham, Gray, Halls, Hedley, Henderson,
Herden, Heron, Hetherington, Howard, Hume, Hunter, Irvine, Jameson, Kerrs, Laidlaw,
Little, Medford, Milburn, Moffat, Musgrave, Nixon, Noble, Ogle, Oliver, Potts, Read,
Ridley, Robson, Routledge, Rutherford, Salkeld, Scott, Selby, Shaftoe, Stamper, Storey,
Tailor, Taits, Thompson, Trotter, Turnbull, Wilkinson, Witherington and Yarrow who
often bore the brunt of (and carried out ! ) cross border raids.
The Centre is located beside the church. An exhibition explains
the history of the area from prehistoric times to the present day. The church also
has information leaflets and souvenirs for sale. Open: all year round from dawn to
LIDDESDALE HERITAGE CENTRE
Tel: 013873 75816
Situated in Newcastleton. An exhibition
telling the story of Liddelsdale, once a valley of Border raids and warfare. Open:
most afternoons during the summer.
TULLIE HOUSE MUSEUM & ART GALLERY
Carlisle CA3 8TP Tel 016977 48213 website: www.tullie-house.co.uk
Travel through time,
and over 10,000 years of history in the Border Galleries, then visit Carlisle Castle
just across the road.
BIRDOSWALD ROMAN FORT
Tel: 016977 47602
Birdoswald is one of the most spectacular locations
for a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall. Recent excavations, gateways and fort walls can
be seen. Open: Daily 1 March - 9 November 10 am - 5 pm
The priory lies in a peaceful valley near Hadrian’s Wall. An Augustinian priory
founded in 1169 built partially of stones from the roman wall. the main nave survives
as the parish church and the undercroft is intact. Open: Daily 1 April - 31 Oct 10
am - 6 pm.
An excellent book , on the reivers and particularly on Kinmont Willie Armstrong
titled “Deadlock & Deliverance” by writer and historian Tom Moss , available at
Some more websites with good info on the The Border Reivers and the Debatable lands