On ITV on Monday nights, there is a series presented by Robson Green, the well known actor and fisherman from the North East, who presents a show all about Northumberland. The show is called “Tales from Northumberland” and is another generic TV show with a well known presenter explaining an area they know, like Ade Edmondson, James Nesbitt and Caroline Quentin, with Yorkshire, Ireland and Cornwall.
Over eight half-hour episodes, Robson Green is your guide to enlighten those who do not know about this less well known area of the UK. Last week, he discovered more on the bloody battles between the English and the Scots, which meant for example that the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, changed allegiance thirteen times. Even today, many locals will say that Berwick is more Scottish than English. In fact, in places the river Tweed becomes the boundary between Scotland and England, and you can be fishing in Scotland or England depending on your footing in the water.
All across the border there are pockets of land that could be Scottish or English and in the past these were called the “debatable lands”. Created by family feuds and cross border allegiances, these were lawless areas beyond the control of either country. This Unique Historic Castle, is a fine example of a Scottish vernacular style tower house, but it is now located in Cumbria across the border in England. When it was built back in 1584, the area was Scottish but part of the “debatable lands”. All other tower houses of this style ended up being officially Scottish once the border was drawn up leaving this as a unique example of a Scottish clan tower house built in the Scottish style but on English soil.
Today it is available for self-catering holidays and is a popular destination for those involved with weddings at Gretna, which is known the world over as a marriage venue. The reason is the difference in marriage laws in England and Scotland. Back in 1753, England’s Marriage Act sought to prevent couples under the age of 21 marrying without their parents’ consent. And it was this that prompted a rush to Scotland, where the law was less prohibitive. On the main route from London to Scotland, the first stop over the border was Gretna Green in Dumfries and Galloway. The village’s blacksmith shop presented the first opportunity for a wedding. It is still popular today – but back then it was about the difference at the border between Scotland and England. Why not cross the border today and check out the selection of large holiday houses and castles in Scotland at Scotts Castle Holidays.