H is for Hawick (or Hometown)

It’s a town few people have ever heard of, but it has a long and bloody history. Settled in the 12th century, it waeis an area of conflict between the Scottish and the English for centuries. By the 16th century, the border between Scotland and England had turned into a battleground. Those who lived here – the Turnbulls, the Scottls, The Douglas’s, the Kerr’s, for example – were loyal only to those they could depend on. They turned to cattle rustling, theft and murder – either from the English or from their own neighbours. Blackmail and treachery were a way of life. They became known as Border Reivers.

Those days are gone, but each year in March, The Hawick Reivers Festival takes place, with re-enactments, parades, etc. Every June, the Common Riding takes place, a week of celebration with the custom of riding the boundaries, the celebration of the capture of the English flag in 1514. The horse in the square commemorates this victory.

Hawick has come a long, long way from its violent past. These days, Hawick is better known for its rugby team and its garment and cashmere industry. But if you do stop there on a tour of Scotland, you’ll never lose your travelling companions if you tell them to meet you “at the horse”.


H is for Hawick (or Hometown) — 2 Comments