A Summary of how it all began

Ancient Britons and Romans

The earliest inhabitants of Denholm were prehistoric settlers, late stone or bronze age, some 2000-3000 years ago.

 

Last century (19th) skeletons were found near to where the present school is, these people would have lived by hunting, fishing and gathering.

 

Later during Roman occupation of the 1st and 2nd centuries, the native Britons lived in fortified dwellings on higher ground and remains of Iron age forts can still be seen today near to Denholm but there is no evidence of Roman occupation in Denholm itself.

Earliest Record of Denholm

The earliest surviving record of the village is found in the ragmans rolls signed by a certain Guy of Denum at Berwick in 1296.

 

In this document many Scottish lords swore fealty (faithful adherence) to Edward 1st of England after his campaign north of the Border.

The Anglo Saxon Settlement

By the end of the 4th century the Romans had seen enough and were off.

 

The Angles and Saxons were invading from the south and it was from this era that we got our name Denholm:- "holm" (flat river meadow) by the "den" "dene" or "dean" (narrow wooded valley) thus the settlement was at the point where the narrow glen of the Dean Burn met the flat meadows of the Teviot valley.

16th Century Border Raids

The village suffered its share of feuds and raids which devastated the Borders before the union of the crowns in 1603. In

 

1524 lord Dacre boasted that he had harried the whole of the Border lands and left not a single habitable place. In 1533-35 Denholm and Cavers were burnt by Lord Dacre and Sir Kerstial Dacre.

The Feuing of the Village in the 17th Century

In 1664 Sir Archibald Douglas feud 8 3/4 acres of land for houses and gardens. That is to say he granted a perpetual lease at a fixed rent. This land lay in plots around the green. More was feud in the 18th century down the Canongate.

 

Denholm is now a Conservation Area listed as "a planned village" as opposed to the traditional unplanned or organic form of village usually found in Roxburghshire.

© 2020 by Jane & Kevin Currie