Haughhead

Filmed at Haughhead, Scottish Borders. Late Autumn 2020.

This film is for Sian.

Music credit: ‘Light’ by Michael Kiwanuka

Haughhead.

South of Grahamslaw, but on the left and opposite bank of Kale Water, may be seen the traditional home of Henry Hall, the Covenanting laird of Haughhead who was fatally wounded at Queensferry in 1680. The tradition, however, is at fault as the existing building, now a roofless shell with a very ruinous kitchen-wing at the NE end, dates only from the 18th century. Nevertheless, the lower part of the gable at the SW end is possibly a vestige of an earlier house since it includes, about 6ft above ground, an incomplete window with chamfered arrises of 17th-century type. I

Above the arched fireplace of the kitchen in the wing there has been inserted for preservation a moulded panel which bears an inscription in two lines. On the upper line can be read the initial H followed by 1 June, while the lower line supplies the initials S A H and the year 1740: thus the legend when expanded can be read as “Haughhead 1 June 1740 Sir Andrew Hall.” As the masonry of the main building is intact, this stone must have been removed either from above the entrance to the kitchen wing or from some other building.

Mound and Carved Stone, Haughhead Kip.

The mound known as Houghhead Kip crowns a natural hummock which rises from the plateau on the left bank of Kale Water opposite Grahamslaw. On the summit there stands a modern stone “altar”, in the top of which an inscribed slab of red sandstone, repaired and restored by Lady John Scott in 1854, has been inserted for its better preservation.

The inscription, which has been re-cut, runs:

HERE HOBY HALL BOLD(LY) MAINTAIND HIS RIGHT
GAINST REEF PLAIN FORCE ARMED W(ITH) LAWLES MIGHT
FOR TUENTY PLEUGHS HARNESD IN ALL THEIR GEAR
COULD NOT THIS VALIEN(T) NOBL HEART MAK FEAR
BUT W(ITH) HIS SWORD HE C(U)T THE FORMOSTS SOAM
IN TWO HENCE DROVE BOTH PLEUGHS AND / PLEUGH-MEN HOM(E)

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