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Foulden, Mordington and Lamberton

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Of Saxon origins, Mordington is situated in the extreme south-east of Scotland in the ancient county of Berwickshire. It is a long narrow hilly and undulating parish bordering England, and the Scottish parishes of Lamberton & Foulden (with whom it is today united) and Paxton. It is in the presbytery of Duns, and church is noted here in the 12th century. Anciently there was a parish church near the old Mordington House and eventually this was replaced with another, on the Duns road, and lastly by a splendid edifice c1870 near the school, tragically demolished in 1989. For over a century there was also a Free Church at Mordington, with its manse, both of which still stand, but now in private ownership. The nearest church is now at Foulden.

Until virtually the twentieth century, Mordington consisted entirely of two, later three, estates. The feudal barony of Mordington, containing Over and Nether Mordington, has as its earliest recorded owner, Agnes de Morthington, who married Henry Haliburton. Later, Robert the Bruce confirmed it upon Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray and eventually it passed to the famous ‘black’ Agnes Randolph, Countess of Dunbar, so-called because of her olive complexion. In 1372 it passed to her daughter upon her marriage to Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith. A branch of his family became Lords Mordington but espoused the Jacobite cause and were forfeited. The title is dormant.

The original mansion was a Tower, replaced in the 18th century by the splendid old Mordington House, sadly demolished c1975 after the failure in the male line, after 250 years of ownership, of the last Campbell-Renton laird. In the early 17th century Nether Mordington was separated and became its own entity with its own Regality and seat, the latter, dating from the later 16th century, eventually being renamed Edrington house, still today a residence.


The southern part of the parish comprised the Edrington estate, which belonged for upwards of 500 years to the Lauder of Bass family. They possessed Edrington castle, high above the Whiteadder river which still had four floors and battlements in the 1880s. It is still marked on Ordnance Survey Maps but little remains. Below it stands Edrington mill, in operation prior to 1375, on the Whiteadder. It survives but in poor condition and is clearly at risk. The bulk of the Nether Mordington lands is now conjoined with the Edrington estate, the proprietor being Mr. Michael Thornhill.

Agriculture has always been the main occupation in Mordington, and the Smithy at Mordington Clappers is still working. The Jeffrey family have been the blacksmiths here since c1700. Almost next to it stands the old Mordington School, a listed building. It is the last local schoolroom still in its original state, but was sold in 2002 and is currently at risk of inappropriate development.


In the twentieth century the great Over Mordington estate was split up into agricultural holdings intended for returning soldiers who wished to work the land and several holdings and/or their homes remain. Mordington Mains is possibly the largest remaining farm, with some of the old estate remaining with the present Mordington house. The current laird there is Mr.John Trotter.


Mordington returns three councillors to the Foulden Mordington and Lamberton Community Council. Mordington falls within the Scottish Borders Council Chirnside (Ward 2) Constituency.

Further information can be gleaned from The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland by Rev.John M. Wilson (Edinburgh, c1865), The Parish of Mordington by Mrs. W.R.Johnson, (1966), Edrington Castle, Berwickshire, & early references by G.M.S. Lauder-Frost, F.S.A.,(Scot), in the Borders Family History Society Magazine, (Galashiels, pps: 7 – 13, Issue, 41, October 1999, ISSN 0268-5701), and Smallholding Memories (various contributors, Berwick-upon-Tweed, 2000).
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