Visit Greenlaw and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Greenlaw, Scottish Borders. Situated on the Blackadder Water in the foothills of the Lammermuirs, this small town takes its name from a low isolated hill, or “green law”, 1 mile South East, where the original town was situated. The present town was founded towards the close of the 17th century, and from 1696 to 1853 was the county town of Berwickshire, then being replaced by Duns. The market cross, which was first put up by Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth, dates from 1696. It was taken down in 1829 to make room for the County Hall, but was discovered and re-erected in 1881 on the West side of the town. The tower of the church dates from 1712, though it is built in the style of the late 15th century.
Some 3 miles South of Greenlaw, at a height of 600 ft. is the ruined Hume Castle, the ancient seat of the Home family; it has a commanding viewpoint. It probably originated in the 13th century; it had a stormy history, being captured in 1547 by Somerset and retaken by young Lord Home in 1549. Twenty years later the Earl of Sussex captured it, and in 1650 it surrendered to Cromwell's artillery. The defiance with which its Governor greeted the besiegers on that occasion is in the children's rhyme in which he wrote about the siege:
I, Willy Wastle, stand firm in my castle;
And a' the dogs o' your town will no'
pull Willie Wastle down.
At the end of the 18th century the ruins were re-erected on the old foundations and restored into their present “imitation antique”.
About 3 miles North of the town on the moor is an unusually fine example of a “kaim”, a gravelly ridge formed by infilling in glacial fissures, which extends for over 2 miles and measures up to 50 ft broad and 40 ft high.
The village of Polwarth, 3 miles North East of Green-law, has two old thorn trees, which formerly stood in the centre of the village green; for three centuries, until the 19th century, it was the custom to dance at every wedding around these trees, and this is celebrated in many songs, especially one by Allan Ramsay. To the South of this village is Marchmont House, a semi-Palladian mansion built about 1754 by John and Robert Adam from designs made in 1724 by their father, William Adam. The house, which superseded the earlier Redbraes Castle nearby, stands in finely wooded grounds, including an oak 128 ft tall and 15 ft in girth, and contains a fine collection of paintings.
In the grounds of Marchmont House lies Polwarth Church, which was rebuilt in 1703 by Patrick Hume, the 1st Earl of Marchmont. An inscription erected then says that its predecessor was erected before A.D. 900 and restored in 1378. In 1684 Sir Patrick Hume, a follower of Argyll, hid in the family vault and remained there for several weeks, being supplied with food by his redoubtable daughter Gruel, then only 12 years old, who later became Lady Grizel Baillie. The house was frequently searched by soldiers of Charles II, but Sir Patrick eventually escaped to Holland and was ultimately restored.
Nearby towns: Duns, Earlston, Kelso,
Nearby villages: Allanton, Carham, Chirnside, Coldstream, Dryburgh, Kirknewton, Longformacus, Newstead, Newtown St. Boswells, Roxburgh, St Boswells, Stichill, Wark
Have you decided to visit Greenlaw or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Greenlaw bed and breakfast (a Greenlaw B&B or Greenlaw b and b)
- a Greenlaw guesthouse
- a Greenlaw hotel (or motel)
- a Greenlaw self-catering establishment, or
- other Greenlaw accommodation