Mordington

   MORDINGTON, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 4 miles (N. W.) from Berwick-on-Tweed; containing 392 inhabitants. This place, situated on the border, and consequently exposed to frequent hostile incursions, was celebrated for its ancient castle, seated on the summit of a rock rising almost perpendicularly from the bank of the river Whiteadder, which winds round its base. It appears to have been regarded as a fortress of importance at an early period, and to have been alternately in the possession of the Scots and English; and in treaties of peace concluded between the two kingdoms, it invariably formed an article of separate stipulation. It was in the hands of the English for a considerable time prior to the reign of Henry VIII., by whom it was voluntarily restored to James V. in 1534, from which period till the Union it was held, with the lands appertaining to it, in royal demesne. Previously to the middle of the 17th century the parish comprised only the barony of Mordington and the lands of Edrington; but the manor of Lamberton was then severed from the parish of Ayton, and annexed to Mordington. The church or chapel of Lamberton, which had been an appendage of the priory of Coldingham, but had long fallen into decay, is distinguished for the marriage contract concluded within its walls between James IV. of Scotland, and Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. of England, in the year 1503.
   The parish is about four miles in extreme length, and of very irregular form; it is bounded on the east by the German Sea, and on the south by the river Whiteadder, and comprises 3600 acres, of which 2600 are arable, 30 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moorland pasture and waste. The surface is greatly varied, and rises in the northern portion into numerous eminences commanding extensive and richlydiversified prospects over the surrounding country, with part of the county of Northumberland, terminating to the south in the range of the Cheviot hills, towards the east embracing a view of the ocean, and to the west, the Rubberslaw, the Eildon, and the Lammermoor hills. The southern portion has a gentle declivity to the banks of the Whiteadder, and on the east towards the sea. The scenery is enriched with woods of ancient growth and with thriving plantations, and is in many parts very picturesque, the river winding beautifully between precipitous banks richly wooded: the coast is one continued series of steep and rugged rocks, of which some in detached masses project boldly into the sea. The soil is various, in some parts marshy, and in others fertile and productive; the chief crops are, grain of every kind, with potatoes and turnips. The system of agriculture is advanced; manure of all kinds is obtained in abundance from Berwick, and bone-dust has been employed with success in the cultivation of turnips; the lands have been drained and inclosed; the farm houses and offices are substantial and well arranged, and all the more recent improvements in implements are in general use. Considerable numbers of cattle and sheep are pastured in the upland parts, but few are reared on the farms. The plantations are in a flourishing condition. The chief substrata are, sandstone, indurated marl, and trap-rock with porphyry; coal is supposed to exist in abundance, though at a considerable depth. Two seams of it have already been discovered, varying from twentysix to thirty-two feet in thickness, and it is thought that beneath these there is another seam; lime has been also found, near the coal, but of very inferior quality. Mordington House, pleasantly seated on an eminence, and Edrington House, situated in a richly-wooded demesne, are both handsome mansions.
   A lucrative fishery is carried on at the small village of Ross: the fish generally taken off the coast are, cod, ling, and haddock, lobsters, crabs, and salmon in small quantities; the cod, ling, and haddock are sent chiefly to Edinburgh, and the lobsters by smacks to the London market. Salmon and trout are found also in the Whiteadder, but not in any large quantity. A flour-mill is set in motion by the Whiteadder, near the castle of Edrington, and a threshing-mill, above 500 feet distant, is worked by the same wheel by means of a shaft carried through a tunnel in the rock. The agricultural produce of the parish is sent to Berwick, and to the newly-established market at Eyemouth; and wool-staplers from all parts of Yorkshire attend to purchase wool, for the manufacture of which several of them have mills on the banks of the Whiteadder, whereof one is within the parish. The rateable annual value of Mordington is £3328. It is in the presbytery of Chirnside and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and in the patronage of J. Campbell Renton, Esq.: the minister's stipend is £157. 11. 8., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £37. 10. per annum. The church, erected in 1757, is a neat plain edifice adapted for a congregation of 170 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school affords a liberal education to about fifty children; the master has a salary of £34, with £23 fees, and a house and garden. A small library is supported by subscription; it contains a well-assorted collection of books, which circulate gratuitously. A portion of the outer walls of the chapel of Lamberton is still remaining, and is appropriated as a place of sepulture by the family of the present proprietor of the Lamberton estate. There is also a small portion of the castle of Edrington, or Mordington, existing, though in a very dilapidated condition. On the heights towards the north-west are the remains of a circular camp supposed to be of Danish origin; it appears to have been defended with a triple entrenchment, of which the ramparts are about twenty feet high: one-half, within this parish, is tolerably entire; but the other, in the parish of Ayton, is almost obliterated.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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