Denholmhill Quarry

Denholmhill Quarry, on the western slopes of Ruberslaw, produced a characteristic fine red sandstone, a softer and more easily worked alternative to whinstone. Readily used for private construction of buildings in and around Denholm in the 18th century, the quarry was officially opened as a business in 1810, expanding in 1818 under the supervision of proprietor and farmer Walter Laing. The quarry rose to fame when its stone was used in the centuries-long construction of Bowhill House – originally built by Lord Bowhill in 1708, and completed under the Duke of Buccleuch’s ownership in 1876. Stone from Denholmhill Quarry was in great demand following the construction of Bowhill, and was used in the construction of many buildings in the Hawick area. At its peak, around two-hundred men were employed by the quarry, with sixty carts leaving daily, transporting stone to Hassendean Station. Unfortunately, many of the workers suffered lung disease, due to exposure to stone dust, and life-expectancy among them was short. The quarry seized operation shortly before 1900, and it is believed that St. Margaret’s Convent (opened in 1912) was the last major structure in Hawick built using its stone.