Graphics from Members (1)
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Elibank Castle from the A72 between Clovenfords and Walkerburn sent in by Marjorie. The 16th century tower originally had a terraced garden and courtyard. The building was a ruin by 1722.
This drawing of Newark Castle in 1871 was sent in by Marjorie. Her great, great, grandfather William Laidlaw (1816-1882) along with his parents and sister Mary, lived and worked at Newark Bowhill from before 1841 until about 1873. Then he lived at Netherbarns Galashiels until he died 1882. He lived in the cottages on the right of the picture according to the 1841/51/61/71 Censuses ( Newark Cottages ) it looked a very busy place in those days!
This is another picture from Marjorie, this time of Muckle Mou'd Meg, the heroine of a famous Scottish ballad. She was known as the ugliest woman in the Scottish Borders and Sir Gideon Murray, the King's Treasurer, despaired of finding a husband for his unattractive daughter. Then Willie Scott, was caught red-handed stealing his cattle. Sir Gideon (or it may have been his wife's idea) came up with the perfect punishment - marry his daughter or hang! Initially Willie was reluctant but eventually agreed.
Muckle Mou'd Megs statue is situated on the other side of the Tweed at the edge of Thornielee forest and she is looking towards her ancestral home Elibank Castle (seen in the picture above).
The sculpture shows the couple dancing a joyous reel at their wedding feast. The sculpture is by the Borders artist Rob Taylor. The sculpture is larger than life (of course) at eight feet tall.
Meg's marriage was long and happy. The Scottish poet James Hogg's ballad, "The Fray of Ellibank" which immortalised the episode. says that "Her nature was generous, gentle and free,"
Here's a more recent view of Newark castle from Marjorie. The graphic on the right shows very well the thick walls (ten feet wide in places). Newark was built in the 15th century, but despite being a target for invaders from the south, it is in a better condition than many in the Borders.
Here's another view of Newark Castle!
This time it has members of the local Ettrick and Yarrow sewing group which created one of the panels for the Great Tapestry of Scotland. Their panel, No. 52, was entitled "Montrose Defeated at Philiphaugh Near Selkirk 1645" which of course is just next to Bowhill House and Newark Castle. In fact, the prisoners were taken to Newark Castle before being slaughtered in the field nearby. This field has been known locally as "Slain Men's Field" ever since.
Large Version of the Tapestry
There was a lot of very detailed stitching which amounted to a total of 473 hours by the members of the group.
The panel included Newark Castle as well as the Covenanter's Monument at Philiphaugh, the Duke of Buccleuch's stag, and oak leaves and acorns (all as seen within the arches at the top of the panel).
The second Earl, Francis Scott, was a supporter of the National Covenant, which meant he sided with Cromwell in the Civil War, as he was opposed to the religious policies that King Charles 1st was bringing in. He led his clan to the Battle of Philiphaugh, in support of Sir David Leslie. Their victory against the much weakened and vastly outnumbered Marquis of Montrose was a final nail in the coffin for King Charles 1st and his cause.
Those involved in creating the tapestry were given a year to sew it which seems a very long time until you see the level of detail. The overall Great Tapestry of Scotland has 167 panels. It has been touring the UK since 2013 but is now in storage awaiting a specially built Exhibition Room which is being paid for and built at the end of the new Borders Railway at Tweedbank by Scottish Borders Council. It is hoped it will help to bring more tourist trade to the Borders.