Newcastleon is a village located 22 miles south of Hawick. This circular trail made up of generally good paths and minor roads.
There was once a church at Ettleton Cemetery, around 400 years ago, but there is now no trace of it or the settlement of Ettleton. What remains is a highly atmospheric place, worth spending a little time in. It commands a fine view across Liddesdale and is beautifully maintained. Old tombstones bear such features as a miller’s trademark, and a tall obelisk records the unusual death of William Armstrong, a farmer at Sorbietrees. He was ‘shot without challenge or warning by Rev Joseph Smith, incumbent at Walton, Cumberland’ in April 1851, aged 37.
It must have been a notable event at the time, and the obelisk was erected by ‘a numerous body of friends on both sides of the Border’. In a railed enclosure there are fragments of very early medieval stones decorated with swords, shears and other symbols. Another large memorial commemorates members of the Black family, including Rev John Black, minister here for 50 years. He is described as ‘a man of genius who lived his life quietly among these hills’. Next to him is a tablet to his eldest son William, who was lost at sea off the coast of China in 1870, aged just 20. There are many other stones worthy of study.
When you are ready to leave, follow the narrow cemetery access road as it twists down the hill to meet the main road at Milnholm Cross, a medieval monument believed to have been erected in 1320 to commemorate Alexander Armstrong, a prominent clansman who was murdered at Hermitage Castle. It is thought that the funeral party rested here before climbing the hill to Ettleton churchyard. The cross, which carries the clear initials AA, stands near the site of former buildings belonging to the farm of Milnholm, and looks across the river to the walls of Mangerton Mill.