The factual and social history of the picturesque village of Cockburnspath is linked in separate chapters with the nearby hamlets of Cove, Dunglass, Old Cambus, Bilsdean, Oldhamstocks, Tower and Pease where sea and land have shaped their collective history in equal measure. The second half of the book is structured around themes: archaeology; agriculture; art; bridges; customs, taboos and old saws; education; natural history; people; poems, couplets and rhymes; postal history; quarries, mines and salt pans; railways; shipwrecks; stories and walks. Fishermen, smugglers and invading armies, kings and queens - all have left their mark. Numerous shipwrecks lie off-shore, but the same rocky headland that sank them also attracted the Enlightenment geologist James Hutton in the 1700s.

A century later, Sir James Guthrie and `The Glasgow Boys' gathered in Cockburnspath to paint land, sea, children and cabbage patches. John Broadwood of piano fame and the eminent theologian Principal John Cairns were both born in the area but perhaps the most illustrious family were the Halls, lairds of Dunglass for 232 years, who contributed to the governments of their day, to architecture and landscape design, to science and writing. The cast of characters who have burned and pillaged, exercised power, tilled the land, stayed for a while, or merely passed through, may surprise even those who stay here still. Richly illustrated and designed by Kenneth Wilson, there are 88 original illustrations, 180 photographs, 11 reproductions, an OS map of the area and a full index.
First published 1999. Reprinted 2005.
Available in hardcover only. £24.95 plus p+p