Kirk Yetholm

Kirk Yetholm is a village in the Scottish Borders region of Scotland, 8 miles (13 km) south east of Kelso and less than 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the border. The first mention is of its church in the 13th century. Its sister town is Town Yetholm which lies half a mile across the Bowmont Water. The population of the two villages was recorded as 591 in the 2001 census.[1]

The village is notable for being the northern terminus of the Pennine Way, and to a lesser extent the southern terminus of the Scottish National Trail. The Border Hotel public house is the official end of the Pennine Way.

Kirk Yetholm was for centuries the headquarters of the Romani people (Gypsies) in Scotland. The last king of the Gypsies was crowned in 1898 and the Gypsies have been integrated and are no longer a separate ethnic minority. A memorial stone can be found on the village green.[2]

A song referring to Kirk Yetholm called ‘Yetholm Day’ was written and composed by Gary Cleghorn.

Kirk Yetholm from the Mindrum Road
Kirk Yetholm from the Mindrum Road

Place-name meanings

Yetholm means either:

  • the goats' island from Old English gat 'goat' and Old Norse holmr (island, holme)
  • village with a gate - from Old English geat-ham ‘gate village’


In 1942 the village school building was converted into a Scottish Youth Hostels Association hostel. It now continues in use as an affiliate hostel named the Kirk Yetholm Friends of Nature House. It provides accommodation for tourists, particularly walkers and cyclists, being located on St Cuthbert's Way, the Pennine Way, the Scottish National Trail, the Sustrans National Cycle Route 1 and Scottish Borders Loop.[3]

See also

Further reading

The Kirk Yetholm Gypsies is available from the Hawick Archaeological Society website.[4]


  1. ^ Scotland's Census Result OnLine Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ The Gypsy Memorial, Kirk Yetholm, Scotland
  3. ^ "Kirk Yetholm". SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2010-05-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

Coordinates: 55°33′N 2°16′W / 55.550°N 2.267°W

Bowmont Water

Bowmont Water is a stream in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland, England.

It rises in the Cheviot Hills and flows by Mowhaugh, Town Yetholm, and Kirk Yetholm. It then crosses the Anglo-Scottish border and continues past Mindrum Mill, Mindrum Station, Thornington, and finally to Lanton Mill where it joins College Burn to form the River Glen.

Scottish Border poet and Australian bush balladeer Will H. Ogilvie (1869–1963) in his first anthology Fair girls and gray horses (1898) fondly reflected on the land of his heritage while in Australia (1889–1901), penning a five stanza of the same name.

We have wandered down the valley

In the days of buried time,

Seen the foxgloves dip and dally,

Heard the fairy blue-bells chime;

Seen the brier roses quiver

When the West-wind crossed the dell,

Heard the music of the river

And the tale it had to tell,

Where the melody Love taught her

Is the laverock's only lay,

At the foot of Bowmont Water,

Bowmont Water — far away!

E2 European long distance path

The E2 European long distance path or E2 path is a 4850 km (3010-mile) series of long-distance footpaths that is intended to run from Galway in Ireland to France's Mediterranean coast and currently runs through Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, with an alternative midsection equally designated via the Netherlands and east coast of England. It is one of the network of European long-distance paths.

The paths are aimed at walkers; alternative routes exist in some parts for horse riders and cyclists.

John Baird (Scottish divine)

John Baird (17 February 1799 – 29 November 1861), was a Scottish divine.

King of the Gypsies

The title King of the Gypsies has been claimed or given over the centuries to many different people. It is both culturally and geographically specific. It may be inherited, acquired by acclamation or action, or simply claimed. The extent of the power associated with the title varied; it might be limited to a small group in a specific place, or many people over large areas. In some cases the claim was clearly a public-relations exercise. As the term Gypsy is also used in many different ways, the King of the Gypsies may be someone with no connection with the Romani people. In the early 1970s, it was decided, at the First Annual Romani Meeting that the term Gypsy would no-longer be used to describe themselves.

It has also been suggested that in places where they were persecuted by local authorities the "King of the Gypsies" is an individual, usually of low standing, who places himself in the risky position of an ad hoc liaison between the Romani and the gadje (non-Romani). The arrest of such a "King" limited the harm to the Romani people.

Kirk (placename element)

Kirk is found as an element in many place names in Scotland, England, and North America. It is derived from kirk, meaning "church". In Scotland, it is sometimes an English translation from a Scots Gaelic form involving cille or eaglais, both words for 'church'. Rarely it is found in Anglicisations of Continental European placenames which originally had Dutch kerk or a related form.

Kirk by itself is the name of two places:

Kirk, Caithness, Highland

Kirk, Colorado, a US townMore usually it is an element in a compound name. The remainder of this article is a list of some of these.

In Scotland

Ashkirk, Scottish Borders


Halkirk, Caithness, Highland

Kirkbuddo, Angus

Kirkburn, Scottish Borders

Kirkcowan, Dumfries and Galloway

Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway

Kirkconnel, Dumfries and Galloway

Kirkfieldbank, South Lanarkshire

Kirkhill, Highland

Kirkhill, South Lanarkshire

Kirkhope, Scottish Borders

Kirkliston, Edinburgh

Kirkmaiden, Dumfries and Galloway

Kirkmichael, South Ayrshire

Kirkmuirhill, South Lanarkshire

Kirknewton, West Lothian

Kirkoswald, South Ayrshire

Kirkton of Skene, Aberdeenshire, and many other Kirktons, all tiny, and mostly matched with a Castleton or a Milton.

Kirk, Caithness, Highland

Kirkton (various)

Kirkwall, Orkney

Kirkwood, Coatbridge

Kirkwood Estate, East Ayrshire

Kirk Yetholm, Scottish Borders

Prestonkirk, East Lothian

Selkirk, Scottish BordersIn certain situations however, apparent instances of Kirk are, in their first element, from the Scots Gaelic word Cathair meaning a seat or fortress.

Kirkcaldy, Fife

KirkintillochIn England

Kirk Merrington, County Durham

Kirkbride, Cumbria

Kirkburton, West Yorkshire

Kirkby, Merseyside

Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire

Kirkby-in-Furness, Cumbria

Kirkby Kendal, Cumbria

Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmoreland

Kirkby on Bain], Lincolnshire

Kirkburn, East Yorkshire

Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire

Kirkdale, Merseyside

Kirkdale, North Yorkshire

Kirkham, Cambridgeshire

Kirkham, Lancashire

Kirkham, North Yorkshire

Kirkhamgate, West Yorkshire

Kirkharle, Northumberland

Kirkhaugh, Northumberland

Kirkheaton, Northumberland

Kirkheaton, West Yorkshire

Kirkholt, Lancashire

Kirkland, Allerdale, Cumbria

Kirkland, Copeland, Cumbria

Kirkland, Eden, Cumbria

Kirkland, Lancashire

Kirkleatham, North Yorkshire

Kirklees, West Yorkshire

Kirklevington, Stockton-on-Tees

Kirkley, Suffolk

Kirklington, North Yorkshire

Kirklington, Nottinghamshire

Kirknewton, Northumberland

Kirkoswald, Cumbria

Kirkstall, West Yorkshire

Kirkstead, Lincolnshire

Kirkstone Pass, Cumbria

Ormskirk, Lancashire

Church Kirk, Lancashire

Colkirk, Norfolk

Peakirk, Northamptonshire

Kirkgate, Cambridgeshire

Chadkirk, Cheshire

Romaldkirk, Durham

Felixkirk, North YorkshireIn France

Dunkirk, Nord-Pas-de-Calais (from Dutch Duinkerke; French Dunkerque)In North America

Kirkpatrick, Oregon, United States

Newkirk, Oklahoma, United States

Kirkland, Washington, United States

Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada, named after Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk

List of listed buildings in Yetholm, Scottish Borders

This is a list of listed buildings in the parish of Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, Scotland.

Long-distance footpaths in Scotland

This page lists long-distance footpaths in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage have defined such paths as meaning a route that is at least 32 kilometres (20 mi) long and primarily off-road, or on quieter roads and tracks. This definition is consistent with that of the British Long Distance Walkers Association.

Mike Hartley (runner)

Michael Hartley (born 14 July 1952) is a British former ultramarathon runner.

He won the Fellsman in 1984, 1987, 1989 and 1990 and was also the first finisher in some of the LDWA’s hundred mile events, including the White Peak Hundred in 1988 which he completed in 17:58.In 1989, he finished second in the West Highland Way Race in a time of 15:32.Hartley set fastest known times for running several long-distance footpaths in the UK. In 1988, he completed the Southern Upland Way, around 212 miles, in 55:55. The following year, he set records for the Dales Way with a time of 13:34 (later beaten by Dennis Beresford) and the Staffordshire Way with a time of 16:10.In July 1989, Hartley completed the Pennine Way in a record time of 2 days, 17 hours and 20 minutes. He ran the Way, approximately 268 miles, in the north to south direction, from Kirk Yetholm to Edale. He did not schedule any time for sleep during the run, and none was taken. His time took approximately four-and-a-half hours off the previous best which had been set by Mike Cudahy. For his Pennine Way run, Hartley received awards for performance of the year from both the Fell Runners Association and the Bob Graham Club.In 1990, Hartley ran the three main British twenty-four hour mountain challenges (Ramsay's Round, the Bob Graham Round, and the Paddy Buckley Round) one after the other, completing them in a total time of 3 days, 14 hours and 20 minutes including travelling time between the routes.Hartley broke another of Mike Cudahy's records in 1991, when he ran Wainwright's Coast to Coast route in 39:36.Later in his running career, Hartley was more prominent in road and track races. He finished third at the London to Brighton in 1992 and was victorious at the Barry 40 mile track race in 1992 and 1993, his time in the latter year being 4:00:20.He represented Great Britain at the 100k European Championships, finishing in fourth place in the 1993 edition. His time in that race of 6:37:45 is, as of 2019, fifth on the British all-time road rankings for the distance. He also represented his country at the global level at the 100k distance in the 1993 and 1995 World Championships.


Morebattle is a village in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, on the B6401, seven miles south of Kelso, Scottish Borders, beside the Kale Water, a tributary of the River Teviot. The St. Cuthbert's Way long distance footpath passes through the village.

Surrounding villages include Cessford and Eckford to the west; Linton to the north; Town Yetholm and Kirk Yetholm to the east; and Hownam and Mowhaugh to the south.

One Man and His Bog

One Man and His Bog (subtitled: The Reluctant Rambler's Guide to Walking the Pennine Way) is a 1986 travelogue book written by Barry Pilton and published by Corgi which started life as a series of talks on BBC Radio 4. It gives a light-hearted account of his walking the full length of the Pennine Way in 21 days, from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. The book has a foreword by Mike Harding and illustrations by Gray Jolliffe.

The book opens with an author's note: "If this book should in some small way encourage people to take up walking themselves, then the author suggests they read the book again more carefully".

It includes humorous tales of the people he met on the route, his overnight stops primarily at Youth Hostels and the toll it took on his body. A glossary of "Difficult Technical Terms" is also included, for example "Compass – instrument for establishing you are lost".

The book's title refers to that of the well-known television series One Man and His Dog, which features sheepdog trials, often in the Pennines and other upland areas.

Pennine Way

The Pennine Way is a National Trail in England, with a small section in Scotland. The trail runs 268 miles (431 km) from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border. The path runs along the Pennine hills, sometimes described as the "backbone of England". Although not the United Kingdom's longest National Trail (this distinction belongs to the 630-mile (1,014 km) South West Coast Path), it is according to the Ramblers' Association "one of Britain's best known and toughest".

Scotland's Great Trails

Scotland's Great Trails are long-distance "people-powered" trails in Scotland, analogous to the National Trails of England and Wales or the Grande Randonnée paths of France. The designated routes are primarily intended for walkers, but may have sections suitable for cyclists and horse-riders; one of the trails, the Great Glen Canoe Trail, is designed for canoeists and kayakers. The trails range in length from 40 to 340 km, and are intended to be tackled over several days, either as a combination of day trips or as an end-to-end expedition.In order to be classified as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, a route must fulfil certain criteria. Each of the routes must be at least 40 km in length, and clearly waymarked with a dedicated symbol. It is expected that visitor services will be present along the way, and that the route has an online presence to help visitors in planning their journey. Trails are required to run largely off-road, with less than 20% of the route being on tarmac. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the custodian of the brand, maintaining the official list and providing some of the finance and publicity, but responsibility for creating and maintaining each route lies with the local authority(ies) through which a route passes. There are 29 routes, offering 3000 km of trails in total. Additionally, the northernmost 10 kilometres (6 mi) of the Pennine Way between the Anglo-Scottish border and Kirk Yetholm lie within Scotland, but are designated as one of the National Trails of England.

The route of each of the Great Trails is marked with coloured diamonds on Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) and Landranger (1:50000) maps; the SGT logo of a thistle within a hexagon is also used to highlight the routes at the 1:25000 scale.

Scottish National Trail

The Scottish National Trail is a 864-kilometre (537 mi) long-distance trail between Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, and Cape Wrath in the far north of the Scottish Highlands.

The trail starts in Kirk Yetholm, at the end of the Pennine Way. The route combines sections of other well known long distance walking routes including St Cuthbert's Way, the Southern Upland Way, the Forth and Clyde Canal Pathway, the West Highland Way, the Rob Roy Way and the Cape Wrath Trail.Created by walker Cameron McNeish, it is the first walking route to run the length of Scotland. The route takes two months to walk. McNeish said he was inspired to launch the trail after visiting Nepal in 2011, when they had just announced the creation of the Great Himalayan Trail. The trail was officially launched on 30 October 2012 by First Minister Alex Salmond.

Spine Race

The Spine Race is a winter ultramarathon held over a distance of around 268 miles from Edale, England, to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland, along the Pennine Way. Participants are allowed seven days to complete the course. The race has been held annually since 2012. The Spine Fusion is a summer race run over the same route, introduced in 2017. The Spine Challenger and Spine Flare are shorter winter and summer races over 108 miles from Edale to Hardraw, to be completed in 60 hours.

St Cuthbert's Way

St Cuthbert's Way is a 100-kilometre (62 mi) long-distance trail between the Scottish Borders town of Melrose and Lindisfarne (Holy Island) off the coast of Northumberland, England. The walk is named after Cuthbert, a 7th-century saint, a native of the Borders who spent his life in the service of the church. The route links Melrose Abbey, where Cuthbert began his religious life, with his initial burial place on Holy Island. Cuthbert achieved the status of bishop, and was called a saint eleven years after his death, when his coffin was opened and his remains found to be perfectly preserved.The route was first devised by Ron Shaw, and opened in summer 1996. Shaw continues to sit on the walk's steering group, which is responsible for managing the path. Other members of this group are Scottish Borders Council, Northumberland County Council, Northumberland National Park, and Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty. The trail was originally developed as a walking route but some sections are suitable for cyclists and horseriders. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code permits cyclists and riders to use most of the trail in Scotland, but on the English section of the route this is generally not permitted. Similarly, wild camping along the route is permitted (if carried out responsibly) in Scotland, but not in England.As of 2018 it was estimated that around 2,500 people completed the entire route each year.

The Cheviot

The Cheviot () is the highest summit in the Cheviot Hills in the far north of England, only 1¼ miles (2 km) from the Scottish border. It is the last major peak on the Pennine Way, if travelling from south to north, before the descent into Kirk Yetholm.

Other than the route via the Pennine Way, most routes up The Cheviot start from the Harthope Burn side to the northeast, which provides the nearest access by road. The summit is around 3 miles (5 km) from the road-end at Langleeford; across the valley to the east is the rounded peak of Hedgehope. There are routes following the ridges above either side of the valley, and a route that sticks to the valley floor until it climbs to the summit of The Cheviot from the head of the valley.

Although the Pennine Way itself does a two-mile out-and-back detour to the Cheviot, many walkers who come this way omit it, since the stage (the last) is 29 miles long.

The summit of the Cheviot is very flat. It is an ancient, extinct volcano. It is covered with an extensive peat bog up to 6 feet (2 metres) deep; the Northumberland National Park authority have laid down stone slabs on the main access footpath to prevent erosion damage to the peat and to make the approach to the summit safer for walkers.

North of the summit, in the peat bogs, are the remains of a crashed B-17 bomber, which hit the mountain due to a navigational error in World War II. The more recognisable pieces of wreckage have been removed, but pieces of the aircraft can still be found.

Town Yetholm

Town Yetholm is a small village in the Scottish Borders in the valley of the Bowmont Water opposite Kirk Yetholm. The centre of the small village is made up of the village green surrounded by the village shop, the Plough Hotel Public House a few houses to the south and a row of terraced dwellings to the north, separated from the green by the Main Street. The Wauchope Hall is situated at the east end of the main street next to Gibsons Garage. The village has many notable houses with impressive views.

Every year, in June the village holds a festival week to celebrate the village and the people within. Two respectable young adults are chosen to represent the village during its own festival and others around the Scottish Borders. They are named from the gypsy language, Bari Gadgi (best boy) and Bari Manushi (best girl).

Every year on a Saturday in July the village plays host to several hundred visitors from the larger town of Kelso during the town's "Civic Week" festival. On this day the Kelsae Laddie, his left and right hand men and a cavalcade of about 200 horses ride their way to Kirk Yetholm via Hoselaw and the Venchen Hill. After a welcome and a toast the cavalcade moves across the Bowmont Water to Town Yetholm for lunch. After lunch in the Plough Hotel for the principals, and picnics on the green for rest of the visitors, the piper plays a reel which is danced by the Laddie and his right and left hand men joined by the Bari Gadgi and Bari Manushi. The visitors leave during the afternoon and the village returns to the sleepy picture postcard scene it always is.


Yetholm is the parish that contained the villages of Kirk Yetholm and Town Yetholm in the east of the former county of Roxburghshire, nowadays in the Scottish Borders.

Yetholm television relay station

Yetholm television relay station is a relay transmitter of Selkirk, covering Kirk Yetholm and Town Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, as well as the village of Mindrum in Northumberland (although English services are not broadcast from this transmitter). It is owned and operated by Arqiva.


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