Old Coal Road
Start location: B6357, Dinlabyre (NY 529 921)
End location: Lewis Burn, road by Kielder Water (NY 644 902)
Geographical area: Lothian and Borders
Path Type: Industrial Path
Path distance: 15km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians, Suitable for Bikes, Suitable for horses
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From Dinlabyre take the forestry road past Mountain View, forking right at NY550909 to head towards Larriston Fells. Continue by the track to Bloody Bush which lies on the Scottish/English border, then on by the Grains Burn and Akenshaw Burn to The Forks. From there head down beside the Lewis Burn to reach the public road along the Kielder Water.
This route is promoted for equestrian use as part of the South of Scotland Countryside Trails network. It also forms part of the network of mountain bike trails radiating through and from the Kielder Forest.
OS Landranger 79 & 80
In the nineteenth century, this road was used to transport coal from Northumberland's Lewisburn Colliery over the border into Roxburghshire. At least two bridges on the route are dated 1828; the toll pillar at the border was set up in the 1830s.
The inscription on the toll pillar is interesting in what it tells us about who may have been using the road at the time it was put in place. The writing is hard to read in places, but says something like:
The MARCH between NORTHUMBERLAND & ROXBURGHSHIRE
Willowbog the Property of Sir J.E. Swinburn Bar. Capheaton
Dinlabyre the Property of William Oliver Rutherfurd Esqr.
PRIVATE ROAD upon which a Toll Gate is erected near Oakenshaw Bridge at which the following Toll rates are exacted viz 1st For horses employed in leading coals - 2d. each 2nd all other horses - 3d. do. 3rd Cattle - 1d. do. 4th Sheep, Calves, Swine - 1/2d. do.
The above tolls exacted once a day.
N.B. Persons evading or refuseing to pay at the above mentioned toll gate will be prosecuted for trespafs.
DISTANCE from this place BLOODYBUSH
To Lewisburn Colliery 5 miles
Maunces 8 do.
Bellingham 23 -
Hexham 37 -.
Dinlabyre 3 1/2 -
Castleton 7 1/2 -
Hawick 21 -
Jedburgh 25 -
The coal road is thought to have fallen into decline with the opening of the Border Counties railway in the 1860s.