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A History of Longtown and District

Volume One 'The Olde Border Town'

Gordon L. Routledge


Longtown has a troubled history influenced by its location so close to the border with Scotland and nestling on the edge of what were the notorious ‘Debateable Lands.’ It was a place of great importance during the days when pack horses and stage coaches were the only means of transport between England and Scotland. The township evolved by the ford on the River Esk, probably along the original Roman route and at one of the great passes leading northwards into the wild and untamed regions of Caledonia.

During the 17th Century its market became a place of major importance and was visited by farmers and merchants from miles around. A blend of nationalities settled here, including Irish, who established the long defunct spinning industry, Scots, pure Cumbrians and Gypsies. In 1688 the town consisted of only about twelve houses of mud and thatch but in time great changes were brought about through the enterprise of the Graham family of Netherby. This is the story of ‘The Olde Border Town,’ and of its people and some important visitors who came here during those formative years. Also of many events which took place across the local region.


P3 Publications



Publication Date:

2019 December


Paperback; 297 x 210mm




Black and white photographs throughout