Scottish Marches

Scottish Marches

The Scottish Marches is a term for the border country on both sides of the border between Scotland and England. From the Norman conquest of England until the reign of James VI of Scotland, who also became James I of England, border clashes were common and the monarchs of both countries relied on March Lords to defend the frontier areas known as the Marches.

On both sides of the border there were the West March, the Middle March and the East March. These regions nearly mirrored each other but there was some overlap between the Scottish and English regions.

Berwick-upon-Tweed a strategic town on the north bank of the River Tweed, (the traditional border in the East March), is slightly closer to Edinburgh than Newcastle. It was fought over many times (between 1147 and 1482 the town changed hands between the two nations more than 13 times), as late as the reign of Elizabeth I of England, the English considered it worth spending a fortune on the latest style of fortifications (trace italienne) to secure the town against Scottish attack. [ [ Berwick upon Tweed: The Historical Walled Town] ]

ee also

* Border Reivers
* Debatable Lands, land lying between England and Scotland, formerly in question to which it belonged, when they were distinct kingdoms.
* The Scots' Dike which was dug in 1552 to divide up the Debatable lands.
* Welsh Marches, between England and Wales


* [ The Borders] website: [ Border Laws]

Further reading

* [ The Battlefields Trust] [ Map of the fortified sites in the Scottish Marches] 1415 and additions by 1541
* The Middle March of Scotland (2007) by Dr. Anna Groundwater


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