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Harden House

Situated with good defences, Harden House is situated above a deep ravine, 3.5 miles west of Hawick, north of the B711 road. The present House of Harden dates from the 17th century.


It succeeded an earlier tower which was destroyed about 1590. The house has been considerably added to and rearranged internally between 1680-90 and again in the 19th century. These additions have all been erected on the North side, and have not altered the appearance of the original South front. The earliest work was an oblong house of two storeys and an attic, measuring 74 ft 9 ins E-W by 18 ft 3 ins. This was extended 25 ft 8 ins to the East in 1680.


Robert Scott bought Harden from Lord Home in 1501. One of the family was Auld Wat of Harden who married Marion (also known as Mary) Scott, the "Flower of Yarrow".  The family removed to Mertoun late in the 18th century and thereafter the building degenerated into a farmhouse. It was restored in the mid-19th century and is now the seat of Lord Polwarth, a chief of Clan Scott.


The Statistical Account of Scotland published in 1845 noted that the ceiling of the old hall had carved stucco work and the lobby was paved in marble. The mantel-piece of one of the rooms was surmounted with an Earl's coronet and the letters W>E>T" wreathed together, signifying "Walter Earl of Tarra" (a title borne in former times by the house of Harden. In front of the house is a deep glen, very precipitous on both sides. This was where Wat of Harden a well-known Border Reiver, used to drive the cattle he had driven off on his night-time raids.


A 17th century sundial from Dryburgh House stands East of the house. It is 4 feet high with a moulded base, twisted shaft, and square dial-stone. On the West of the house there is a bowling green which may be as old as the 17th century.


Note that Harden House is the home of Lord Polwarth and is not open to the public.

Harden House
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