*Drummelzier *Contents

Drummelzier (parish)

The following lengthy account of the parish was printed in the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published by A. Fullarton & Co. in 1868.

DRUMMELZIER, a parish in Peebles-shire.  It contains a village of its own name; but its post-office is at Rachan-Mill, a little beyond its north-west limit.  It is bounded on the south-west by Lanarkshire, and on other sides by the parishes of Glenholm, Stobo, Manor, Lyne, and Tweedsmuir.  Its length south-westward is 13 1/4 miles; and its breadth varies from 3/4 of a mile to 5 miles.  It stretches from the mountain-ridge or water-line, which divides Peebles-shire from Lanark, away north-eastward into the centre of the county.  Kingle doors burn rises in the heights which divide the two counties, and intersects a limb of the parish over a distance of 4 1/2 miles.  There the Tweed, having entered the parish from the south, flows directly across, receiving the waters of this burn on its way; and it thence forms the north-western boundary-line over a distance of 9 miles.  On the other hand, the eastern or south-eastern boundary-line is formed by a ridge of heights which separate the local waters of Drummelzier from those of Manor.  The body of the parish is thus a slope or acclivity of hills looking down upon the Tweed, and terminating in the vale upon its banks.  Its indigenous brooks, 7 in number, all rise toward the east, and run down westward or north-westward to pour their waters into the Tweed.  But though a hilly district, and forming a part of the southern high-lands, the parish contains much arable land, and is finely variegated with plantations and cultivated fields.  The vale along the river is in general narrow; yet, in some places, it expands into beautiful haughs; and, where the rivulets break down from the heights, it opens into fine cleughs or glens.  This vale is the chief scene of culture, and the principal seat of the population.  The soil in the haughs is rich alluvial loam; but elsewhere is, in general, sharp and very stony.  Limestone and slate are found, but are not worked.  Drummelzier castle--formerly a seat of the Tweedie family, and a link in a chain of fortresses, now all in ruin, along the banks of the Tweed--overlooks the river from a beautiful site environed with plantation.  There are, in the parish, vestiges of a Roman road, and of two old castles,--one of the latter 6 feet thick in the walls, and held together by a cement as hard as stone, yet so old, that no tradition remains of even the period of its destruction.  Upon a spot near the junction of the Powsail rivulet with the Tweed, is a tumulus, reported to be the grave of the famous wizard, Merlin.  It is said that Merlin predicted the union between the two kingdoms, and the prophetic couplet was thought to have been of some use in conciliating the prejudices of the people.  It runs nearly as follows:--

"When Tweed and Poussil meet at Merlin's grave.
Scotland and England one king shall have."

Except a road along the Tweed, Drummelzier is badly provided with facilities of communication.  There are five landowners.  The yearly value of raw produce was estimated in 1834 at £4,414.  The assessed property in 1860 was £3,173.  The village of Drummelzier stands on the Powsail, a quarter of a mile above its confluence with the Tweed, and 8 miles east-south-east of Biggar.  Population, about 80.  Population of the parish in 1831, 223; in 1861, 209.  Houses, 35.

This parish, formerly a vicarage of the rectory of Stobo, is in the presbytery of Peebles, and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale.  Patron, Trotter of Ballendean.  Stipend, £192 5s. 7d; glebe, £18.  Schoolmaster's salary, £35, with £11 8s. 1 1/2d. of other emoluments.  The present parish consists of the original Drummelzier, and the southern and larger part of the old parish of Dawick.  At Kingledoors, in the south-eastern part of Drummelzier, formerly was a chapel, dedicated to St. Cuthbert, the early evangelist of Tweeddale; and, along with its appurtenances, and the lands of Hopcarshire, it was granted to the monks of Melrose.


Annette Peebles
Last updated Monday, 17-Jul-2000 22:08:48 MDT