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Peebles and Selkirk
Size, Shape and Bounderies


The area of Peeblesshire is 222,240 acres of land and 1048 acres of water. Selkirkshire has 170,793 acres of land and 1796 acres of water, and is therefore about three-quarters the size of Peebles. Peebles could be contained in Inverness more than twelve times, and could itself contain Clackmannan more than six times. It comprehends one eighty-seventh part of the land and water of Scotland.

Peeblesshire is roughly triangular in form. The longest side stretches from Borestone in the north of the parish of Linton to the Great Hill where the Coreburn takes its rise, on the southern boundary between the parishes of Tweedsmuir and Moffat. A line drawn through Great Hill and Dollar Law to Thornilee in a north-easterly direction marks the direction of the southeastern boundary between the two counties. The third and shortest side of the triangle runs north-west from Thornilee to Borestone. The Tweed basin with its tributaries fills up this triangular area, the sides of which converge towards its south-eastern apex.

On the west Peebles marches with Lanark, on the north with Midlothian, on the south with Dumfries, and on the south-east with Selkirk.

With the exception of the portion which projects in a south-westerly direction into Dumfriesshire, the outline of the county of Selkirk may be described as an ellipse or oval of irregular outline, with its main axis lying northeast and south-west. The greatest length along the main axis from Capell Fell to Galashiels is twenty-seven miles. The greatest breadth from Dear Heights in the north of the Caddon division of the county to Hangingshaw Hill north of the Ale Water is about the same.

Selkirk marches with Peebles on the north-west, with Dumfries on the south-west, with Roxburgh along the eastern curve, and with Midlothian on the north.

Before 1892, when the Boundary Commission for Scotland was appointed, several detached portions of the one county lay within the other. The parish of Lyne in Peeblesshire had previously been joined with that of Megget in Selkirkshire to form one parish, although separated each from the other by the whole length of Manor Vale and parish, a distance of fully fourteen miles. The Commissioners ordered that Megget should form part of the parish of Yarrow in the county of Selkirk. Similarly the portions of the parishes of Peebles and Innerleithen, which used to be in the county of Selkirk, are now in the county of Peebles. A detached portion of Yarrow parish, about 2166 acres, surrounded by the parishes of Peebles, Innerleithen and Traquair, was united to Traquair parish (which the Yarrow portion had divided into two) in the county of Peebles. ihe parish of Cutter no longer exists. From 1801 to 1851 it was returned as wholly in Lanark; from 1851 to 1891 part of it was returned in Peeblesshire. In 1891 this portion was transferred to the parish of Broughton, Glenholm and Kilbucho.

The Commission had also to deal with parishes partly in Selkirk and partly in Roxburgh and Midlothian. Roberton parish in the east, which used to be partly included in Selkirk, is now entirely within the county of Roxburgh. Portions of the parishes of Ashkirk, Selkirk and Galashiels, partly in Selkirk and partly in Roxburgh, were transferred to the county of Selkirk. The large and growing town of Galashiels close to the borders of Roxburgh and Selkirk had to extend its boundaries eastwards; and the Commissioners decreed that the portion of Melrose parish in the county of Selkirk should become part of the parish of Galashiels and of the county of Selkirk. Still later, in 1908, another portion of Melrose parish was annexed to the burgh of Galashiels for drainage purposes, and in 1911 annexed to the parish of Galashiels.

The anomalies were not, however, all removed. The parish of Stow is situated partly in the county of Edinburgh and partly in the county of Selkirk. The Selkirkshire portion, known as Caddonfoot, is of large area with a population almost wholly agricultural; and as there were reasons against bringing Edinburgh down to the Tweed, as well as against making Caddonfoot part of Galashiels, this portion of Selkirkshire was kept within the parish of Stow. In 1898, however, by order of the Secretary for Scotland, it was formed into the parish of Caddonfoot in the county of Selkirk together with portions of the parishes of Selkirk, Galashiels and Yarrow.

These changes do not affect the ecclesiastical parishes.


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