The Border Reiver Trail

A Land of Riders, Raiders, Intrique and Ancestry…

The Border Reivers

Please click here to view our interactive Reiver Trail map.

The Border families can be referred to as clans, as the Scots themselves appear to have used both terms interchangeably until the 19th century. Click here for local Clan information.

Gilknockie Tower - Hollows Tower

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A Land of Riders

Raiding, or ‘riding’ as it was commonly known, was carried out by reivers who rode hardy ponies called “hobbies” or nags of that time.

They were notorious raiders, as they skilfully rode through the boggy Tarras Moss lands.

Dressed in a woven wool plaid in the early days of reiving, this was in later years replaced by ‘light’ armour such as a ‘jack of plate’, and helmets of steel, nicknamed the “steel bonnets”.

A Land of Intrigue

Cities on the European continent have history that intrudes into everyday life, but the romantic, yet the rebellious and lawless 16th century between Scotland and England is littered with the remains of an unequalled historical record.

In the Anglo-Scottish Borderland, a wide range of historical fact lies on the many multi¬coloured hillsides, deep valleys and dusty roadways where violent and deceitful, as well as romantic activities took place lang syne’.

No longer dark and forbidding, the visitor can have an exciting 16th century journey in this land of ours!

A Land of Raiders

Reivers, often recognised as the finest light cavalry in Europe, raided both sides of the Anglo-Scottish Border during the 16th century.

They were opportunists, and would take what they could, where they could, but did respect their own kinfolks.

Their riding activities, were usually within one day’s ride of their own home, but records indicate they did travel much further.

A Land of Ancestry

Are you an Armstrong, an Elliot, a Little or any other border family name, then the Anglo-Scottish Borderland is the place to visit so that you can check out who you are?

Did your forbearers reive on this land of brutal activity, where history records, survival was fundamental to the residents.

The visitor can touch the land, see the grave stones of their forbearers, and when leaving our borderland, they are safe in knowledge that they have been ‘home’.