Lilliard’s Tomb

Tomb of the  warrior Lilliard
In case you hadn’t spotted the press it’s National Walking Month. So on Sunday we decided to go in search of Lilliard’s tomb. The weather was glorious and the sun shone on the fields of yellow rapeseed, turning them into pools of gold. The trees were heavy with blossom and the birds were singing their hearts out.  It was a perfect walking day.
 

The legend of Lilliard

The legend of fair maiden Lilliard is well known (and recited) in the Borders. She was a local lass from Maxton who followed her lover to the battle of Ancrum Moor (1545) When he was killed by the English, she took up his sword and set about slaying the English. Despite being severely wounded she fought on until her death.

Fair maiden Lilliard lies under this stane
Little was her stature but great her fame
On the English Loons she laid mony thumps
And when her legs were off, she fought upon her stumps

The tomb sits just a few steps to the side of the St Cuthberts Way (St Boswells to Jedburgh). Despite this we observed that none of the St Cuthberts Way walkers, took the very short detour from the path, to visit her tomb.

We then walked in the Jedburgh direction to Woodside Garden Centre for tea and ice cream. The walk just gets prettier and prettier, particularly the last part, though the forest with wildflowers, over bridges and streams. Close to the end you’ll see a sign pointing right to Woodside Garden Centre. Definitely worth stopping for tea and cake or an ice cream. The car park is a popular place for those walking St Cuthbert’s way to get picked up by a taxi and shuttled to their hotel for the night.
 

How did the legend of Lilliard grow?

As with so many legendary figures how much is fact and how much is fiction is difficult to assess.

Lylliot Cross

Over 800 years ago the monks of Melrose erected a a great stone here, beside the Roman Dere Street, and close to a place called ‘Lilisyhates’. By1372 this stone had become known as ‘Lylliot Cross’. For the next 10 years representatives of the English and Scottish crowns met here to try and resolve disputes by peaceful negotiation. Sadly these meetings were not successful and war followed. The ballad of ‘Chevy Chase’ celebrates the death of a squire at The Battle of Otterburn (1388). The ballad includes a description of the heroic death of a mortally wounded squire

For Witherington needs must I wayle
As one in doleful dumpies
For when his legs were smitten off,
He fought upon his stumps

The Rough Wooing

When James V of Scotland died, his daughter Mary Queen of Scots was one week old. Henry VIII thought he would gain control of Scotland by marrying his young son Prince Edward to the infant queen. But the Scots had other ideas and so the period known as “the Rough Wooing” began. During 1544 and 1545 much of the Borders Henry’s army raided, plundered and looted in an attempt to persuade the Scots. In 1545 Governor Arran set out from Edinburgh Castle for Lyliattis cross, with a soldiers and artillery on hearing that Henry’s forces were at Jedburgh. On the 7th February 1545 the 5,000 strong English contingent, led by Sir Ralph Evers and Sir Brian Latoun were returning from plundering and looting Melrose and its’ Abbey. On the ridge at Ancrum Moor they were thrashed by a much smaller Scots contingent and Evers and Latoun killed.

Nearly 200 years later in 1743 the Rev Milne of Melrose ascribed the name ‘Lilliards Edge’ to the ridge. He claimed it was named after a woman who had taken part in the battle of Ancrum Moor, and whose burial monument was all broken into pieces. No inscription survived but Milne quoted the famous lines above about Lilliard.

Adding to the legend

Sit Walter Scott and others were inspired to add to this basic account, including one account which attributed the death of Evers to Lilliard. So the legend Milne recorded grew from at least 3 historical sources: the ruins of Lilliot Cross, the ballad of Chevy Chase and the battle of Ancrum Moor. Lilliard may be a myth but she represents the heroism of many women on both sides of the Border who endured the raiding and wars of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Today we also have a Lilliard Gin named after the Fair Maid. So head over to Born in the Borders or the  Ancrum Pantry buy yourself a bottle and toast the Fair Maid Lilliard.
 

How to Find

The quickest route is to park at Lillardsedge Holiday Park (TD8 6TZ) cross the main road and walk about 500m. You will reach a sign just after the farm marked as Lilliard’s Tomb. You’ll have to climb over the fence and then turn left and walk round two edges of the field, crossing into the next field. Walk along the edge of this field until you come to another sign and a large tree stump that looks like it has been hit by lighting. Look to your right and you should see the tomb on the brow of the hill. This isn’t quite our route as we walked straight ahead on climbing over the fence. We then turned right and walked along the edge of the adjacent field. Eventually we came to St Cuthberts Way and turned left slightly uphill. Then, over a stile and you’ll see the Information Board ahead. Over the stile, up the hill a few steps and you’re there.
 

SCOTTISH OUTDOOR ACCESS CODE

Please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and respect the various land-uses evident, in particular sheep grazing, lambing and the rearing of young lambs or cows.

Borders Science Festival Returns for 2017

May sees the return of the annual Borders Science Festival co-ordinated by LiveBorders Libraries.  With a packed programme full of fun, educational and creative events throughout the month, it aims to inspire people of all ages to explore and celebrate the world of science.  You can choose from family fun days, discussions, theatre and author’s events. Here’s a selection of the events that caught my eye.  Booking for most events is advisable, please check full programme (at the link above) for details.

 

DISCUSSIONS

MARY SOMERVILLE:: SELF-TAUGHT WOMAN OF SCIENCE Illustrated talk by Isabel Gordon, KELSO LIBRARY CONTACT CENTRE TD5 7JH, WEDNESDAY 24 MAY, 2.30PM

Discover how Mary Somerville transformed herself from a young woman with an extremely limited education into a renowned mathematician, best- selling science writer and astronomer who helped discover Neptune! Booking required.

GRAVITATIONAL WAVES: LISTENING TO THE SOUNDS OF THE UNIVERSE Illustrated talk with Prof. Stuart Reid of The University of West Scotland, PEEBLES LIBRARY EH45 8AG, TUESDAY 30 MAY, 7PM

Gravitational waves were rst observed in September 2015 – associated with the collision of two black holes more than an incredible one billion light years ago. A new and exciting era of gravitational wave astronomy has since commenced.

THE FLAT EARTH AND HOW WE KNOW IT’S NOT! Illustrated talk by Astronomer Peter Flannery, MELROSE LIBRARY TD6 9PN, WEDNESDAY 3 MAY, 7PM

Is the Earth at? With the aid of his background in astronomy, visual images, plus some simple experiments for you to try, Peter will prove our planet is indeed a sphere! Booking required.

EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN IMAGINATION Illustrated talk by Art Physiotherapist David Pitt, PEEBLES LIBRARY EH45 8AG, TUESDAY 16 MAY, 7PM

Our imagination can be a valuable resource.  It can equally exert a negative in uence. David will discuss these concepts and explain how we can use imagination therapeutically to come to terms with the past and envisage a future full of possibilities.
 

Author Events

BURKE AND HARE: FACT & FICTION with Peter Ranscombe, SELKIRK LIBRARY TD7 4LE, SATURDAY 13 MAY, 7PM

Peter, previously a journalist with the Scotsman, will describe his research relating to the infamous Burke and Hare and their grisly business of selling bodies for scienti c research. Find out what happened to Hare after Burke was hanged for their murderous crimes. Booking required.

FORENSIC FACT MEETS: FORENSIC FICTION with best-selling Scottish crime ction writer Lin Anderson, THE MCDONALD DRYBURGH ROOM, MILLFIELD GARDENS, CANONGATE, JEDBURGH TD8 6ER, FRIDAY 19 MAY, 7PM

When a grave is unearthed on the remote island of Sanday, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is brought in to excavate. Cut off from the mainland by bad weather, finding the killer is down to forensics and secrets held in the soil.

DISCOVER THE SCIENCE: BEHIND CRIME WRITING with Janet O’Kane, GALASHIELS LIBRARY TD1 3JQ, WEDNESDAY 25 MAY, 2.30PM

Local author Janet O’Kane explains how she chooses ways to kill off her fictional characters.

 

THEATRE

WHY VACCINES ARE AMAZING, Borders Youth Theatre and Trinity P7 Pupils, HAWICK LIBRARY TD9 9QT, WEDNESDAY 24 MAY, 2PM

Worldwide, many killer diseases have almost disappeared due to the wonder of vaccines.
It wasn’t always like this! Thousands of people used to die as a result of diseases we now prevent. But, if we ignore the risks, any of these diseases could return.  Trinity P7 pupils and Borders Youth Theatre have created a piece of theatre to show the perils of the past and how scientists began to shape the future! No booking required.
 

PUBLIC PROGRAMME

THE SCIENCE OF COLOUR, in partnership with the Institute of Physics, THE HIPPODROME, EYEMOUTH TD14 5HS, SUNDAY 7 MAY, 3PM

You’ll never trust your eyes again after you’ve seen Dr Ben Craven use his favourite colour experiments to explore the world of colour vision. Find out how to make a black thing look white, how two lights can be the same but different and why we are all colour blind! Tea, coffee and cake will be available. Suitable for older children and adults. Booking required.

NATURAL FLOOD MANAGEMENT, LAKE WOOD (LAYBY) CAR PARK, 3 MILES NORTH OF PEEBLES ON THE A703 TUESDAY 9 MAY, 6.30 – 8.30PM

Join Tweed Forum staff on this walk to explore how river restoration and ood risk reduction can go hand in hand on the Eddleston Water. See how re-connecting the river with its oodplain, planting trees and creating water storage ponds can all help reduce ooding. Booking recommended.

To book call 01896 849723 or email info@tweedforum.org
Bring waterproof clothing and wellies.

CYCLING DEMONSTRATION Live Borders, TRIFITNESS, GALASHIELS TD1 3EY, FRIDAY 12 MAY, 2PM

Live Borders Advanced Rider Development Squad will demonstrate how force generates power on Watt Bikes. Booking required.  Well it wouldn’t be the Borders if there wasn’t some cycling involved.

 

How to book

To book have a look at the guide and then contact LiveBorders on the details below.

E: libraries@liveborders1.org.uk
T: 01750 726 400 (Monday – Thursday 8.45am – 5pm; Friday 8.45am – 3.45pm)