Councillors in bid to secure Hornshole site

Councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall at Hornshole earlier this week.
Councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall at Hornshole earlier this week.

Two Hawick councillors are bidding to secure the future of the historic Hornshole site by having Hawick Common Good fund claim ownership.

Following the extraordinary events earlier this year surrounding boundary commission proposals which would have seen Hornshole become part of Jedburgh, Councillors Stuart Marshall and Watson McAteer are now leading the fight to ensure it remains part of Hawick for future generations of Teries.

Following a bit of research, the pair have established that the ground, which was once part of the Cavers Estate, was gifted to Hawick Town Council in 1901 for the erection of a monument to celebrate the Hornshole skirmish.

However, at the request of the Hawick and Denholm councillors, Scottish Borders Council have completed a search of their records and have confirmed that they do not own the site.

Taking up the story, Councillor Marshall told the Hawick News: “Earlier this year, Councillor McAteer and myself were extremely concerned at the arbitrary way the Boundary Commission treated the historic and revered site and although sense has prevailed and its location will now be included in any new electoral ward for Hawick, we need to secure its future for the people of Hawick.

“I have contacted Scottish Borders Council who have confirmed that they do not own the site.”

Councillor McAteer added: “I have been in contact with a close relative of [former laird of Cavers Estate] Captain Edward Palmer-Douglas who has been extremely helpful and supportive in our quest to secure Hornshole. At this stage, neither the council, the previous estate owners or those that now own the land adjoining Hornshole are making any claim and we will now formally seek the agreement of the remaining of Hawick Common Good Trustees to pursue rightful ownership and so safeguard its future.”

The pair will now aim to complete the legal formalities needed to secure the site. Councillor Marshall added: “‘This is a great opportunity to secure ownership of Hornshole and to empower a body of trustees to manage and ensure its future.

“We believe the local community will be fully behind this action and support our efforts.”