Legerwood


Legerwood
   LEGERWOOD, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 5½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Lauder; containing 571 inhabitants. The name of this place, signifying in the Saxon "the light or hollow wood," is supposed to have been derived from the situation of its church in a spot almost surrounded by woods. Prior to the twelfth century the lands belonged to the family of the Stewarts, to whom they were confirmed by charter of Malcolm IV., King of Scotland, in 1160; the greater portion of the barony is now the property of the Marquess of Tweeddale. The parish, which is about six miles in length and four and a half in breadth, is bounded on the west by the river Leader, and comprises 8430 acres; 3470 are arable, 1800 meadow and pasture, 400 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moorland and hill pasture. The surface is generally elevated, and is traversed in the northern part by three ridges of hills, of which the highest is nearly 1100 feet above the level of the sea; in the southern part is also a hill of considerable elevation, rising by a gentle acclivity from the east. The scenery is diversified with valleys, and enriched with woods of ancient growth, and thriving plantations. The Eden, a rivulet which has its source in the Boon hill, pursues a winding course through the parish, and falls into the Tweed below Newton-Don: numerous smaller streams, tributaries to the Leader and the Eden, rise in the higher grounds, and in parts of their course exhibit some highly pleasing scenery; and there are also many springs, affording an excellent supply of water. A lake of considerable extent, on the lands of Corsbie, has been drained, and partly converted into meadow land.
   The soil is very various in different parts of the parish, but upon the whole is tolerably fertile, and, under good management, produces favourable crops of oats, barley, beans, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is in an advanced state, and the five-shift rotation generally practised; the lands are drained and inclosed; the farm houses and offices are substantial and well arranged, and all the more recent improvements in implements have been adopted. Much attention is paid to live stock, and considerable numbers of sheep and cattle are annually pastured; the sheep are of the Leicestershire and Cheviot breeds, with an occasional cross between the two, and the cattle chiefly of the short-horned breed. The woods are of oak, ash, alder, birch, and hazel: the plantations are larch, and spruce and Scotch firs, intermixed with various kinds of foresttrees; they are all well managed, and in a very flourishing state. The substrata are mainly sandstone of the secondary formation, greywacke, and greywacke-slate; small portions of copper-ore have been discovered on the lands of Dods farm, supposed to have been washed from the soil by rain, and particles of copper have been found in various parts of the parish. The Boon hill is composed of a species of conglomerate; and a quarry has been opened, supplying materials for the roads, for which use it is well adapted. The rateable annual value of Legerwood is £4856. Facility of communication with the nearest market-town and other places in the vicinity is afforded by good roads, of which those from Kelso and Hawick to Edinburgh pass, the former on the east, and the latter on the west, side of the parish; and there are also commodious bridges over the different streams, all kept in excellent repair.
   The parish is in the presbytery of Lauder and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and in the patronage of Henry Ker Seymer, Esq.; the minister's stipend is £205. 4. 6., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £15 per annum. The church, an ancient edifice, repaired in 1717 and 1804, and enlarged in 1837, is a substantial and neat building, adapted for a congregation of about 300 persons. The parochial school affords instruction to about seventy children; the master has a salary of £28, with £20 fees, and a house and garden. Several children of the parish, on account of their distance from this school, attend the schools of Westruther and Melrose. A small library, supported by subscription, is gradually extending its collection; and the parish regularly contributes to the various missionary schemes that are under the management of the General Assembly. On a small mount, richly wooded, and formerly surrounded by the lake of Corsbie, which has been drained, are the remains of an ancient castle, the residence of the lords of the barony; there are also, at Whitslaid, similar remains of a baronial castle. The date of their foundation is unknown; but they are thought to have been erected in the reign of James II. Upon the summit of Legerwood hill are traces of a camp supposed to be Roman, and there are vestiges of another on Birkenside hill; but they have been both much defaced by the plough, and have nearly disappeared under the modern improvements in cultivation. On the hill of Boon is an upright shaft of sandstone, rising from a block of the same material; it is called Dods Corse Stane, and is said to be an ancient cross, pointing out the site of a market formerly held here, or the place where a duel was once fought.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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