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Field Visit

Date 13 October 1937

Event ID 1106673

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


Lilliard's Stone, Lilliard's Edge (Site).

Lilliard's Stone, situated on the summit of Lilliard's Edge, is modern; but as the site is connected with a well-known Border tradition which, although it has been current for more than two hundred years, is nevertheless wholly apocryphal, it is desirable to put the true facts on record.

The myth relates to a "fair maiden Lilliard", whose exploits at the battle of Ancrum Moor, fought on 27 February 1544-5, were recorded in doggerel verse on an earlier memorial which was lying in pieces in 1743. There is, however, plenty of evidence to show that the place-name was established as such long before the date of the battle, while less than forty years later "Lidgate" appeared instead of "Lilliard", in "Lidgates Crose" (1). Four days before the battle artillery was brought from Edinburgh Castle to "Lyliattis Cros"; in 1378 the Scottish and English Commissioners met at "Lillyat Cros" or "Lyliot-crosse" (2); while the same name appears with a suffix as "Lillesietburn" in an early 12th-century charter (3), and in a still earlier form as "Lilisyhates". Its obviously contains the same element as that of the adjoining parish of Lilliesleaf, which is given as "Lillescliva" in 1124 (4).

The cross with which the name is associated in 1378 may be the magna petra that the monks of Melrose set up as a boundary stone at "Morric", on the N. slope of Lilliards's Edge, in the reign of William the Lion (5).

RCAHMS 1956, visited 13 October 1937

(1) Hamilton Papers, ii, No, 467, p.635

(2) Cal. of Docts., iv, Nos. 242 and 264

(3) Liber de Melros, pp.78, 224.

(4) Lawrie, Charters, L.

(5) Liber de Melros, p.78. Cf. also THAS, 1904, 70 ff.

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