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Dere Street near Crailinghall.  Taken by Richard Warren. Heritage Paths Project
ScotWays
Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society
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Path of the Month
General Wade's Military Road, Crieff to Aberfeldy
General Wade's Military Road, Crieff to Aberfeldy

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Haxalgate

Start location: B6359 Dingleton, south of Melrose (NT 543 332)
End location: Bourjo, Eildon Hills (NT 548 327)
Geographical area: Lothian and Borders
Path Type: Industrial Path
Path distance: 0.8km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

This is a short path starting at the access road to Dingleton Mains, but quickly branching off to the right and heading southwest towards the pass where the Bourjo is located just before reaching St Cuthbert's Way.

OS Landranger 73 (Peebles, Galashiels & surrounding area)

Heritage Information

This is an old path to a very mysterious feature called the Bourjo. Over the centuries there have been quite a few theories as to what this place was. In 1760, R Pococke believed the path led to a grove of oaks where druids made sacrifices and it has been suggested that Haxa would indicate a high priestess of the Druids. Romantic antiquarians like Sir Walter Scott also felt that it had connotations of witchcraft. Others thought it might be a fortified place, although there is no evidence of relevant structures.

However, the reality is generally now considered to be that the Bourjo is a very old quarry which was used to supply stone for the nearby Melrose Abbey (founded in 1136, rebuilt in 1322 and 1385). Therefore it appears that Haxalgate is probably a medieval quarry road.

 

 



 

 

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