Bedrule  Roxburghshire


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Bedrule like this:

Bedrule, a hamlet and a parish of Teviotdale, central Roxburghshire. The hamlet, lying on the right bank of Rule Water, 4¼ miles WSW of Jedburgh, its post-town and railway station, consists of the parish church (rebuilt about 1803; 140 sittings), the manse, the school, and a few scattered cottages. ...

Close to it, on a grassy knoll, are scanty traces of an ancient castle, the stronghold of the Turnbulls, where, about 1494,200 of that fierce Border clan were brought before James IV., with halters round their necks and naked swords in their hands.

The parish is bounded NW by Ancrum, NE and E by Jedburgh, S by Hobkirk, and W by Hobkirk and Cavers. It has an extreme length from N to S of 4½ miles, a width from E to W of from 1 to 23/8 miles, and an area of 39521/3 acres, of which 35 are water. Rule Water traces nearly all the western, the Teviot more roughly the north-western, boundary; and the surface has a general eastward rise to Dunian Hill (1095 feet above sea-level), Black Law (1110), and Watch Knowe (957). The rocks belong mainly to the Silurian system, but partly also to the Devonian; the soils of the uplands are thin and poor, in places spongy, while those of the haughs are occasionally argillaceous, but chiefly a rich sandy loam superincumbent on gravel. In the S the peel tower of Fulton stands, fairly perfect, on a greensward slope, confronting 'dark Ruberslaw' (1392 feet) across the Rule; northward are a hill-fort and the sites of Ruecastle (burned in Lord Dacre's raid, 1513; and again in Hertford's, 1545) and Newton Tower. William Turnbulls, Bishop of Glasgow from 1448 to 1454, was probably a native of this parish; and at the manse was born an eminent physician, Sir David James Hamilton Dickson (1780-1850). The principal residences, Menslaws, Newton (with a fine old avenue of ash and elm trees), and Knowesouth, are all three situated near the right bank of the Teviot, along the highroad from Hawick to Jedburgh; and 3 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500, and 2 of from £20 to £100. Bedrule is in the presbytery of Jedburgh and synod of Merse and Teviotdale; its minister's income is £212. The public school, with accommodation for 84 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 39, and a grant of £36,13s. Valuation (1880) £4809. Pop. (1831) 309, (1861) 222, (1871) 292, (1881) 269.—Ord. Sur., sh. 17, 1864.

Bedrule through time

Bedrule is now part of Scottish Borders district. Click here for graphs and data of how Scottish Borders has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Bedrule itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bedrule, in Scottish Borders and Roxburghshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 17th August 2022

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