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The History of Melrose

The Broch-lairds of Tweed

While the heart-land of the brochs and warrior-farmer broch-lairds lies far to the north in Caithness and the Isles or Orkney and Shetland, there is a scatter of these uniquely Scottish dry-stone round towers in the eastern and southern lowlands, including three in the Tweed Valley. One of these, Torwoodlee, stands eight kilometres to the north west of Melrose, overlooking the Gala Water Valley and the Tweed Valley of Melrose. Torwoodlea broch is in ruins and difficult to access. The broch of Edinshall near Abbey St Bathans is better preserved and open to the public.

These lowland broch-lairds may have been installed by the Romans to manage the rich sheep pastures of the surrounding moors. The Orkadians are recorded in classical writings as being friendly towards the Romans, a nice little historical mystery.