Friday 3 August 2018


Ladykirk Village
Ladykirk is a small village on the B6470 in the Scottish Borders. It is close to the village of Horndean and is connected to the Northumberland village of Norham by the Ladykirk and Norham Bridge spanning the River Tweed. Ladykirk was formerly known as Upsettlington but was renamed by King James IV.

The village lies just north of the River Tweed overlooking Norham CastleThe piece of land directly opposite the castle was known as Upsettlington Green and Holywell Haugh and was used for meetings during the wars of Scottish Independence. Upsettlington Castle, located near the village and overlooking the river was the Caput Baronium of the Lordship of Upsettlington. The lands and barony were granted to the Bisset family by King William I of Scotland. Unfortunately the castle was sacked and destroyed in 1297 and 1298. 

In 1497 during an attack on Norham Castle King James IV established his headquarters at Upsettlington. It is here that he played cards with the Spanish Ambassador, Pedro de Ayala. 
Shortly after this the siege was abandoned and peace negotiated. James then decided to build a new church in Upsettlington known as Our Lady Kirk of Steill. the patronage of the new church plus the lands of Upsettlington and Holywell, with fishing rights were give to Alexander Lord Home.

The church and village became an important meeting place and in 1559 the Treaty of Upsettlington was concluded in the church before being exchanged at St Cuthbert's Church in Norham.

Ladykirk Church
Ladykirk Church is built on a small rise overlooking the River Tweed. It is thought that it was probably built on the site of an old medieval church. The church was built on the orders of James IV and work started in 1500 taking several years to complete. It is thought that on returning from the siege of Norham Castle in 1496 James fell from his horse into the River Tweed and was thankfully saved from drowning. He founded the new church, originally known as St Mary's or Our Lady Kirk of Steill in gratitude for his survival. 

James decreed that the church would not be destroyed by fire or flood and was therefore built entirely of stone. It is one of few churches in Scotland with a stone roof. In 1743 the tower was heightened and the clock added in 1882. In the19th century stained glass windows, wooden pews and a pipe organ were installed. 

Ladykirk Church

Ladykirk and Norham Bridge
The Ladykirk and Norham Bridge straddles the border over the River Tweed  linking the villages of Ladykirk and Norham.  The impressive stone bridge was completed in 1887 and replaces an earlier timber bridge linking the two villages.

Ladykirk And Norham Bridge

Approaching The Bridge From Ladykirk

Ladykirk House
Ladykirk House is situated in extensive grounds and gardens backing onto the River Tweed in the hamlet of Upsettlington. The house was built in the 20th century and replaces the original 18th century mansion that was demolished in the 1960's. The original house was built in 1797 and was owned by the Robertson family.

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