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One of the oldest recreational signs in the world, now lost.  Taken by an unknown photographer. Heritage Paths Project
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Moss Road

Start location: minor road to Dowlaw (NT 841 696)
End location: A1107 at Silverwells (NT 885 664)
Geographical area: Lothian and Borders
Path Type: Civil Road
Path distance: 5.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

This old road is a continuation of what is now an unclassified road from Templehall. It starts off from the south on a very obvious track and crosses a fence with a style quite early on. After only a kilometre or so the old road meets a gate, beyond which the road is overgrown with gorse and it is necessary to follow the adjacent field boundary. Continue to follow the field boundary while the surface of the old road gives way to tree cover. After another kilometre the course of the old road disappears into a very dense plantation and it is necessary to continue straight through a fire road where, after a couple of hundred metres you meet a well built access track. Here there is a signpost directing walkers to the left. Follow this track to the end where it meets a fence and skirts around to the left, there should be a gate at this point. You meet the old road again at roughly NT857688.  This is the hardest part of the walk to navigate as the only clue as to the existence of the old road is the heavy gorse on the left and a slight line through deep heather off to the right. Follow the slight line for a couple of hundred metres, which is quite heavy going and is a noticable terrace in places. Follow this till you meet a field boundary fence and then follow the fence to the Dowlaw Road.

We don't have a recent survey but understand that the route has recently been thoroughly cleared and so should now be easier to walk and navigate. .

OS Landranger 67 (Duns, Dunbar & Eyemouth)

Heritage Information

While possibly not as significant or as busy as its westerly neighbour, The Old Post Road, this old road was undoubtedly important. It is likely to be the road marked 'Road to Eymouth' in Roy's Military Survey of 1747-1755 and as Roy only marked roads that were of some significance, this must have been important in the 18th century.

Its main use was probably as an alternative route for those travelling north or south by way of Coldingham.  The Old Post Road bypassed Coldingham by several kilometres and so the Moss Road was probably used by those looking to visit, the very important, Coldingham Priory.

One such person who probably travelled it was Edward I who stayed in Coldingham Priory in 1296 on his way to Dunbar and Haddington.

There are points where the road has become a hollow-way where the surface of the road has been eroded by so much use that it is significantly lower than the surrounding land. This is a feature often associated with medieval roads.

We've been told by a former walking group that where the Moss Road meets the Dowlaw Road, a continuing faint track can be discerned which leads down the hill at an angle to meet the A1107 east of the Piperdean Bridge (NT814694). This route can be seen on the OS 6" second edition mapping (1892-1905) and remains clear on satellite imagery today. We'd welcome information on its current accessibility.





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Copyright: Neil Ramsay Copyright: Neil Ramsay



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