The attractive town of Hawick has a fine selection of small independent shops within the town centre and a plethora of fascinating woolen mill retailers alongside more familiar branded stores situated on the outskirts.
Hawick boasts plenty of options for eateries and bars and has several top-class visitor attractions such as The Borders Distillery and the Famously Hawick Tours. There is also a large, free car park which is situated just off the town centre.
A huge mound of upcast earth formed from a circular ditch, on top of which, some 30 feet high, a French noble family, the Lovels, who following the Norman invasion in the 12th century and having been rewarded with extensive lands in the Borders, erected a wooden palisade tower as a temporary residence until a more substantial building of stone took its place. Part of that stone building still stands and is incorporated in Drumlanrig’s Tower. Access to the flat top of The Moat can be gained by stairs.
As the oldest building in the town (build originally during the latter half of the 12th century) and the most prominent in Hawick, it has served many purposes. In 1562 King James VI arranged for a court to be set up in the Tower from which twenty criminals were sentenced to be drowned in the Teviot.
The Scotts of Branxholme took up temporary residence from 1570 after Branxholme was burned and sacked by the English. In 1679, a band of Covenanters, immediately before the Battle of Bothwell Brig, successfully laid siege to it in order to take the militia arms stored within. Anne Duchess of Buccleuch had it renovated, in 1702–04, turning it into a major residence.
It was used by the leaders, during the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745, as quarters when they passed through Hawick. In the early 1770s, it was converted into an inn, running successfully for two centuries. From about 1760 to 1862 it was the staging post for the main stagecoach from Carlisle to Edinburgh.
On the 20th of September 1803, William Wordsworth and his sister spent the night in the Tower inn during their tour through Scotland.
In 2010 it was renovated as the ‘Borders Textile Towerhouse’, with a focus on textiles history.
Like the Mote, the foundations of the church reach far back into the mists of time has been a church on this site for over 800 years. The first church building in Norman style was erected in 1214 and consecrated in memory of St. Mary by Adam, Bishop of Caithness. It was rebuilt in1763 on the foundations of the older building which was probably the medieval church.
A fire in 1880 destroyed the 1763 building, the clock tower being the only part to survive. The present church building which was built in 1883, is a replica of the one that was destroyed by fire.
Beneath the Church are the vaults where for nearly two hundred years the Scotts of Buccleuch, major Border landowners since the 16th century, including Branxholme, were buried, but at the time of the re-building in 1763, the vaults were sealed and there is no longer any access. The last burial in the vault was that of Walter Scott, the first Earl, on the 11th June 1634.
The equestrian statue standing at the east end of the High Street, erected by public subscription in 1914, and properly known as the 1514 Memorial, is a life-size bronze statue, on a stone plinth.
The life-size bronze statue is a reminder of the Hawick tradition of 1514 when a party of local youths engaged and defeated a section of Lord Dacre’s English army then on pillaging and burning foray in the Scottish Borders near Hornshole.
The horse that modeled the statue was well-known for being able to keep still, and, apparently, a bucket was used to rest its front foot on! The face of the rider was apparently modeled on that of Archibald H. Drummond, Cornet of 1888. The original plaster model of 1913 can be seen in the Museum at Wilton Lodge Park.
The common-riding held on the Friday and Saturday that fall between the fifth day and the twelfth day in June is a two-day general holiday and a focal point in the local calendar.
“Yet nowhere in the Borderland is there
A pageant that so much enthralls the soul
Like this, that in the Border town of Hawick
Doth yearly come as on each year doth roll.
Our hearts exulting feel naught can compare
With this display of old Hawick’s Border sons;
And while the strains of Teribus float on the air
Within each breast, the life-blood proudly runs.”
The original Town Hall, sometimes called the ‘Town House’ was built in 1781 for less than £300 and demolished in 1884. It itself replaced the old thatched two-story Tolbooth and Jail on the same situation, which dated from about 1694, and earlier buildings before that. The current building was erected on the same site, 36 High Street, in 1884–86 at a cost of £16,000.
Up until 1762, the old Mercat Cross stood in front of the Tollbooth and a bronze tablet on the facade of the building marks the site. Near this spot also stood the stocks, for the punishment of people, sentenced by the Bailies, who could spend up to several days for relatively minor crimes including theft and assault. It was last used for an elderly female offender in November 1800.
The stocks can be seen inside the Museum at Wilton Lodge Park.
One hundred and seven acres of beautiful parkland on the River Teviot whose origins go back to medieval times encompasses riverside walks, woods, and gardens as well as recreational facilities and a historic mansion house which contains the Museum with its collection of the town’s treasures as well as Border relics and material of bygone days.
It also hosts a wealth of statues that commemorate local heroes which include motorcycle champions Jimmy Guthrie and Steve Hislop and the “voice of rugby” Bill McLaren
:(Wilton Lodge Park) In 1910 Wilton Lodge Mansion, which was empty having been used as a private school, was altered by the Town Council to house the vast collection of artifacts that had been accumulated since 1856 by the Hawick Archaeological Society.
It has a permanent display of knitwear and hosiery history as well as showcasing the town’s treasures, paintings, natural history, and archaeology. It was opened by the Duke of Buccleuch, who was given an ornate golden key to mark the occasion and was the first person to sign the visitor’s book.
:(Mansfield Road) Home to southern Scotland’s biggest water flume, a family-friendly swimming pool, cafe, and multi-level soft play area.
(Kirkstyle) Trace your ancestors or research the history and heritage of the Borders at the Scottish Borders Archives and Local History service.
(Commercial Road) Clan Fraser Blended Scotch Whisky is the first whisky to be launched on international markets by the Borders Distillery, the first distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837, which is housed within a carefully renovated industrial heritage building. Clan Fraser was runner-up in the Peoples Choice International Whisky Tasting held in Hong Kong in January 2017.