Old Northhouse

Nestled on the other side of Gray Hill (or Gray Coat) from the Dod Burn Valley, almost nothing now remains of the once-thriving settlement known as Old Northhouse. The village was situated on the high road between Northhouse and Priesthaugh, part of the old route from Hawick to Teviothead and the south, and now often part of the route the Mosspaul ride-out takes. It was once a bustling centre for weaving, with as many as forty households, a church (built on or near the site of an ancient chapel), and even a local teacher. Whilst the days of reiving mostly came to an end with the Union of the Crowns in 1603, that didn’t stop ‘Will’ Scott of Old Northhouse being declared a rebel in 1608, after failing to answer to charges that he had raided Stobs, stealing the writs and charters for ransom. Populated well into the 18th century, the village’s population seems to have finally petered-out due to an epidemic in the early-1800s. Today, only a few rough-hewn gravestones near the steading by the burnside remain – sombre evidence of the many lives once lived in Old Northhouse.