The ‘Postie Stone’ is beside on the A701 north of Moffat, close to the Devil’s Beef Tub. 

It is a memorial to the guard and driver of the post coach who died in a blizzard in 1831 while trying to deliver the mail.

The memorial stone is on the east verge of the A701 road in Dumfriesshire just south of the Peeblesshire/Dumfriesshire county boundary and about 9 Kms. north of Moffat - map co-ordinates NT 053 129. The inscription on the tablet reads as follows -

NEAR THE HEAD OF THIS BURN

ON 1ST FEB 1831

JAMES McGEORGE, GUARD

AND JOHN GOODFEOOW, DRIVER

OF THE DUMFRIES EDINBURGH MAIL

LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE SNOW

AFTER CARRYING THE BAGS THUS FAR

ERECTED 1931.

The story goes that after abandoning the coach and freeing the horses the two men struggled onward on foot with the mail bags towards Tweedshaws Inn in Tweedsmuir parish where ostlers were waiting for the routine horse change.   However sadly, neither McGeorge nor Goodfellow made it to the Inn and both succumbed to the elements.  The horses however did survive.

Although the monument is beside the A701 it is evident that McGeorge and Goodfellow in fact died on the old Dumfries/Edinburgh road which was a bit to the east.  A photograph of the Postie Stone taken in 1938 is below - landscape pretty bleak at this time prior to afforestation.   Part of the old road can be followed to this day and beside this road about 25 metres north of the county boundary is a sandstone block that purports that this is the spot that McGeorge died - co-ordinates NT 056 138.   

DevilsBeeftubMcGeorgeMemorialSite

The Postie monument is shown on the map on the right beside the A710 where the road crosses the Cross Burn and marked as Mon.   The McGeorge sandstone block can be seen as a dot beside the Old Edinburgh track east of Flecket Hill on the county boundary.  Tweedshaws(Old Inn) is on the A701 just off the top of the map.  The source and course of the Cross Burn can also be seen on this map.   The burn must be so named because of the proximity of the site of Tweeds Cross - see the Tweeds Cross page.   Just north of the sandstone block is Corse Dod - Corse is, of course, a variant of the spelling of Cross.

The area shown on the map is where - 2015 -  Planning applications for a Windfarm at Earlshaugh with overhead power line connection to the grid have been submitted - outrageous.   See Tweedsmuir Community website on this subject. 

The fact that the mail men had managed to get fairly close to Tweedshaws is confirmed on McGeorge's headstone in the Moffat Kirkyard that was erected at the time of his death:-

Sacred to the memory of James McGeorge, Guard of the Dumfries and Edinburgh Royal Mail, who unfortunately perished at the age of 47 years, near Tweedshaw after most strenuous exertions in performance of this duty during that memorable snowstorm 1st February 1831.   Also George McGeorge his son and successor as Mail Guard who died at Dumfries 11th June 1839 aged 34 years.

The memorial in Moffat Kirkyard for John Goodfellow was not raised until 1935 by public subscription - this was over 100 hundred years after the event:-

In memory of John Goodfellow, Driver of the Edinburgh Mail Coach, who perished on Ericstane in a snowstorm 1st February 1831 in kindly assisting his fellow sufferer the Guard to carry forward the Mail Bags.

 

PostieStone1938.jpg

The Postie Stone, 1938

 

 

Tony Hope