Lauder: A Historic Town in the Scottish Borders


Lauder: A Historic Town in the Scottish Borders

Lauder is a former royal burgh and a market town in the Scottish Borders, located on the Leader Water on the western edge of the Lammermuir Hills. It is about 27 miles (43 km) southeast of Edinburgh and has a population of about 1,850. Lauder has a rich history and many attractions for visitors to enjoy.

History of Lauder

Lauder’s name may come from the Brittonic word lÇ­wadr, meaning “washing or bathing place”, or from a word related to Middle Welsh llawedrawr, meaning “a heap of ruins”. The town was once surrounded by walls with gates called “ports” and had two major mills that dated from the 12th century. Lauder was part of the feudal Lordship of Regality of Lauderdale, which covered a large area and was granted to Hugh de Morville, a favourite of King David I. The de Morville family also founded Dryburgh Abbey and donated land to the Hospital at Lauder, which was a religious and charitable institution. Lauder was the site of several important events in Scottish history, such as the Parliament of 1296, where Robert the Bruce and other nobles swore allegiance to Edward I of England, and the Black Parliament of 1567, where Mary Queen of Scots’ third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, was acquitted of the murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley.

Attractions in Lauder


History of Lauder

Lauder has many attractions for visitors to explore and enjoy. One of them is Thirlestane Castle, one of the seven “Great Houses in Scotland” and still the home of the Maitland family. The castle was built in the 16th century and expanded in the 17th century by John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale, a powerful politician and statesman. The castle has impressive architecture, such as turrets, towers and battlements, and contains fine furnishings, paintings and a collection of Edwardian and Victorian toys. Another attraction is Soutra Isle, the remains of the House of the Holy Trinity, one of the most important institutions in medieval Scotland. Founded in 1160 by Malcolm IV, this complex consisted of a church, hospital and friary that served pilgrims, travellers and the poor. Soutra Isle has been excavated by archaeologists and reveals evidence of medical treatments and practices in medieval times. Lauder also has a Town Trail that takes visitors around the town and its landmarks, such as the Mercat Cross, the Tolbooth and the Parish Church. The trail is about 2 km (1.25 miles) long and takes about an hour to complete.

Events in Lauder


Attractions in Lauder

Lauder hosts several events throughout the year that celebrate its culture and heritage. One of them is the Lauder Common Riding, held on the first Saturday in August. This event commemorates the town’s rights to graze cattle on the common land and involves a procession of riders on horseback led by an elected Cornet. The event also includes ceremonies such as the Kirking of the Cornet, where he receives a blessing at the church, and concerts featuring local music and talent. Another event is the Lauderdale Festival, held in July at Thirlestane Castle. This event showcases arts and crafts, food and drink, music and entertainment from local producers and performers.

Conclusion


Events in Lauder

Lauder is a historic town in the Scottish Borders that offers visitors a variety of attractions and events to enjoy. From its medieval castle and hospital to its modern festival and common riding, Lauder has something for everyone.