Dark Ages to Post Medieval

The Anglo Scottish frontier is arguably the most beautiful, and certainly the most bloodstained, region of Britain, perhaps of all Europe. For centuries it was the scene of internecine warfare between England and Scotland, in which great battles were fought, vast areas scorched into wilderness, towns and villages and magnificent abbeys were destroyed, and countless Borderers on both sides were killed. Even in times of official peace between the realms, the violence continued, for the people of the six Border marches, hardened by generations of slaughter, plunder, and guerrilla existence, carried on the tradition of raid and feud learned in war time. The great “riding families”, Scottish and English, and the outlaw bands and “broken men”, preyed continually along the line, setting their respective rulers at defiance, creating what amounted to a lawless no man’s land between the two countries, until the accession of King James VI and I brought about the Union of the Crowns, and in a few short years the Border Reivers were swept from the frontier.
The stage for these ancient dramas was the fertile valleys of the Tweed and Teviot, and the backdrop the wild Cheviot, Lammermuir, Tweedsmuir and Moorfoot Hills. The players were as colourful a mixture as could be hoped for: hardy Borderers with horse and lance and with everything to lose; ruthless politicians bent on power; Italian engineers and foreign mercenaries there for the money and adventure; pressed Scottish and English soldiers risking their lives because they had no choice. This is a landscape with a past which captivates the imagination.