At the southern end of Tweedsmuir Parish bordering the Devil’s Beeftub there is an insignificant small hill known by the rather grand name of Crown of Scotland - a name that nobody has been able to properly explain. Even Captain Armstrong in 1777 when writing about the adjacent Tweeds Cross had no explanation. He commented, "for what reason I cannot conceive."

crown of scotland


There is evidence from various sources including the poems of Blind Harry and also Barbour that Robert Bruce first met, not knighted, his life long friend, James Douglas, at Ericstane around 1305/6.   Ericstane is a short distance from the Crown of Scotland/Tweeds Cross and was on the ancient  Roman road that was also an old Pilgrims Way, going north from Moffat .  That this meeting, although important, is celebrated by the naming of an adjacent hill sounds a bit fanciful.  The name is mystery that I don’t think will ever be solved, although I would be delighted if it was.  The area round about is known as Earlshaugh and there is the ruins of an eponymous farm house once the home of the Welsh family.  The reference to Earl must be to the Earl of Annandale.   Earlshaugh is now the site for a proposed windfarm!

The Rev. John Buchan the father of the eponymous author must have seen the Crown of Scotland on a snowy frosty morning, a vista that he used in the last lines of a poem entitled The Tweed.

Hail, queen of Border rivers! thine the star,
The silver sceptre and crystal crown.
So, if anybody asks me about the Crown of Scotland I will say that it is the crown at the head of the queen of rivers!


Tony Hope