Greenlaw lies almost in the centre of Berwickshire with the main Edinburgh
to Newcastle road via Coldstream, passing through the town. The Blackadder
water flows through the town.
This is basically a farming orientated area with many arable and livestock
farms in the CC area.
The Greenlaw Moor is a SSSI site. The extensive heather moor is the only
remaining dwarf shrub heath left in the Borders. Hule moss is a focal point
for important numbers of pink footed geese with 3 to 6 % of the british
wintering population coming here. There are also suitable areas for
crossbill siskin and a wintering area for Red Grouse and Peregrine Falcon.
There are several historic areas on the moor including Heriots Dyke and
|Greenlaw is the old county town
of Berwickshire and has buildings quite unique to a small community of
approx 600 residents. It was County Town from 1596 to 1661 and again
from 1696 until it eventually passed to Duns in 1903. Greenlaw is also a
burgh of Barony.
The Town Hall, although in a state of disrepair , is subject to surveys to
see what can be done to preserve it.
The old Church has the unique feature of a jail attached in the tower. This
was originally built on the church as the jail and used for many years for
this purpose. There are still many signs of this today. On the second floor
cell walls can be seen graffiti inscribed on the wall by some gardeners from
Marchmont who were jailed here for ducking a woman they suspected was a
The court house originally stood here also, giving us the verse “here stands
the gospel and the law, wi’ hell’s hole atween the twa”. Hell’s hole was the
name of the dungeon cell in the tower for the most notorious prisoners.
The last public execution took place in 1834. An Irishman guilty of assault
and robbery was hanged and thereafter buried under the floor of the jail.
Hume nestles in the shadow of the awe inspiring Hume Castle a few short
miles from Greenlaw and is a lovely village which has had signs of
occupation since medieval times.
The Castle can be seen from most of Berwickshire and dates from the 13th
century. It was the only major Castle to escape destruction by Robert the
Bruces burning policy of 1313.
It was here in 1460 that King James the 2nd and his Queen stayed before he
rode to his fate at the seige of Roxburgh Castle. An exploding gun killed
the king and the Queen ordered Roxburgh Castle to be raised to the ground.
It was also the centre of attention during the threat of invasion by
Napoleon when it was here that a beacon was wrongly lit to alert the country
What had actually been seen was a flare from charcoal burners in
Local projects include floral boxes and baskets, a scheme to provide benches
and just undertaking a scheme to try and floodlight the Church.
Key issues facing the community are lack of affordable housing for young
families, many commuter families now entering the village. Lack of public
transport system to enable travel to work outwith the immediate area.