Tourneyholm and Border Reivers


Tourneyholm, Kershopefoot

This evening, I am posting information on the site known as Tourneyholm which lies on the Scottish side of the England-Scotland border, about four miles south of Newcastleton.

Tourneholm played an important role during the time of the Border Reivers.The Reivers were a group of families who lived in what was called the Debateable Lands (i.e. an area whose ownership disputed between England and Scotland) in what is now Southern Scotland between the 14th and 17th centuries AD. The key areas were Liddesdale, Redesdale and Tynedale. During the medieval period this border region was generally wild, lawless and economically poor. These conditions triggered self-preservation centred on family groups or clans whose allegiances fluctuated but not necessarily to the national governments of Scotland or England. Reiving is a term used to describe raiding for cattle, sheep and any other assets which were mobile or could easily be transported. In the locality, reiving was a way of life, practised by all social classes and not viewed with discredit.

The Tourneyholm site was, essentially, a neutral zone recognised by both the English and Scots. This is where truces were held to resolve disputes, prisoners exchanged and arguments settled by single combat. It fell out of use during the early 17th century when the Borders region was ruthlessly pacified by King James VI of Scotland on becoming King James I of England and ruling both countries as a single entity.

In the 19th century a railway line was built through the site but is no longer in use.

Other connected Reiver sites in the vicinity include Mangerton Tower, Ettleton Cemetery, Milnholm Cross and Rowanburn.All of the foregoing are relevant to Clan Armstrong and other families from the time of the Border Reivers. These and other relevant sites invariably feature in tours of the region.

Tourneyholm is close to the confluence of the River Liddel and Kershopeburn (stream). There is road access to the site.

England-Scotland Border at Tourneyholm

Video clip of Tourneyholm



Tourneyholm, Kershopefoot

Tourneyholm, Kershopefoot


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