The legendary Peeblesshire
The historic Peeblesshire which lies in the South East of Scotland is surrounded by historical counties as well. Midlothian, Selkirkshire, Dumfriesshire, and Lanarkshire all border Peeblesshire which is triangular in shape. Due to a reorganization in 1975, the name Peeblesshire was no longer used, but instead Tweeddale district occupies the place it once had. Although it is still quite known by that name.
Its main town was called Peebles. Many remains of the Iron Age lie near the Lyne Water and the Tweed River. The Romans also left their mark in Peeblesshire through a camp which is known to the locals as Randal’s Wall.
Peeblesshire has its share of structural and architectural history. The best preserved building of Medieval period, is a peel or a fortified tower called Neidpath Castle built in the 15th century. It also boasts of being home to the oldest house in Scotland, the Traquair House. It was built before the Scottish Baronial style in architecture and could have very well been its influence. It is not really a castle but something like a fortified mansion. It is characterized by its white walls, tiny turrets, and small windows.
This house is one of the main attractions of Peeblesshire. Tourist can visit the house and enjoy its numerous features like the Bear Gates, which will not be opened until someone from the line of the Stuarts will sit on the throne of Scotland again as dictated by tradition. It also has on display relics Mary, Queen of Scots and of the Jacobites. One wall in the Museum room is dated back from 1530, a rare survival in a secular building.
The famous Traquair House Brewery is also located in Traquair House. The brewery, founded in 1965 by Peter Maxwell Stuart, is famous for its Scottish ales. In th 18th century, it was originally a domestic brewery which produced beer for the workers of the House. The ale produced boasts that it does not contain of any preservatives and is concocted purely from malted barley, hops, yeast, and pure spring water. Brewery enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Traquair House Brewery.
Peeblesshire is also not without its tales and legends. It is said that Merlin, the wizard in Arthurian mythology, was held in prison by Morgan la Fay in a tree in a Peeblesshire town called Drumelzier. Literary greats also went on vacations to Peeblesshire. Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns frequented the waters of the village, Innerleithen, which is said to have healing properties.
Other characteristics of Peeblesshire are its height above sea level. Its height is higher than all counties in Britain. A comic tradition calls a person born in Peeblesshire a gutterbluid.
If you are planning to spend some time visiting this county, rest assured that you will not be disappointed. In 2005, Peeblesshire was ranked by the New Economics Foundation as the best town in Scotland and only second to Hebden Bridge in all the United Kingdom.
Tourists and nearby visitors will also enjoy festivals such as the annual Gaelic festival called Beltane. Common riding is one activity to watch out for when horsemen will ride along the boundaries of Peebles.