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Peebleshire - The Old Legacy of the Changing County of Peebleshire

Overview

Also known as Peeblesshire or as the County of Peebles, Peebleshire was one of the many counties that comprised Scotland. However, due to the great local government reorganization on the year 1975, the county stopped using the name of Peebleshire altogether. From then on, the county is formally addressed as the Tweeddale district.

Peebleshire (from the Gaelic Siorrachd nam Pùballan) is a county located to the south easternmost part of Scotland. It is bounded by the county of Midlothian to the north, by Selkirkshire to the east, by Dumfriesshire to the south, and lastly by Lanarkshire to the west.

The county is washed by the river Tweed and includes many old ruins in its territory. Among them we have the Roman Hill forts, a Roman camp and the former castles of Neidpath and Drochil.

Its main burgh used to be the town of Peebles and curiously enough, the usage of the old name of the county is still frequent. So much so that even the name of the main newspaper and of the high school of the region both carry the name Peebles (The Peeblesshire News and Peebles High School).

Short History

During early times, the county resisted many attempts of invasion from different nations, like the Romans, the Picts and the Saxons. Many years after these different attempts failed, a group of Anglo-Saxon citizens from the Lothian managed to establish themselves in the region and successfully mingled with the locals. As a result of this, most of the future descendants of the families that inhabited the region at the time come from this original mix.

As is well recorded in many history textbooks, the years that followed were witness to many a confrontation between the English and the Scottish people. This generated much instability in the region and eventually led to the calamitous Battle of the Flodden Field in the year 1513.

Geographically the county is clearly divided into two main burghs (Peebles and Linton), five smaller villages and some even smaller hamlets. The countryside is not only one of the most varied, but is also among the most fertile on the whole country. This has led to both agriculture and farming to become really important pillars of the region’s economy, with more than 35,000 acres of arable land, and about 8000 meadow and pasture areas. Another important part of the county’s economy rests on its mining activities, of which coal and blue slate are the main representatives. It is also worth mentioning that manufacturing is quite important in the region as well.

Nowadays, even though the abundant forests of old are no more, the large plantations that replaced them and the overall variety of the region’s landscape keep bringing many tourists to this historic county of Scotland.