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Title: Hawick  
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Subject: John Thomas Rochead, Munro's of Jedburgh, Lilian Josephine Pocock, Scottish Borders, Cameron Murray (rugby union)
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Scottish Gaelic: Hamhaig[1]
Scots: Haaick[2]

Hawick from the top of the Mote
Hawick is in the Scottish Borders in the south of Scotland
Hawick is in the Scottish Borders in the south of Scotland
 Hawick shown within the Scottish Borders
Area  1.9 sq mi (4.9 km2)
Population 14,294 [3] (2011 census)
   – density  7,523/sq mi (2,905/km2)
Language English
Southern Scots
OS grid reference
   – Edinburgh  39.7 mi (63.9 km) NNW 
   – London  292 mi (470 km) SSE 
Council area Scottish Borders
Lieutenancy area Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HAWICK
Postcode district TD9
Dialling code 01450
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
Scottish Parliament Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire
List of places

Hawick ( ;  Scots: Haaick, Scottish Gaelic: Hamhaig) is a town in the Scottish Borders council area and historic county of Roxburghshire in the east Southern Uplands of Scotland. It is 10.0 miles (16.1 km) south-west of Jedburgh and 8.9 miles (14.3 km) south-southeast of Selkirk. It is one of the farthest towns from the sea in Scotland, in the heart of Teviotdale, and the biggest town in the former county of Roxburghshire. Hawick's architecture is distinctive in that it has many sandstone buildings with slate roofs. The town is at the confluence of the Slitrig Water with the River Teviot. Hawick is known for its yearly Common Riding, for its rugby team Hawick Rugby Football Club and for its knitwear industry.

At the 2001 census Hawick had a resident population of 14,801. By 2011, this had reduced to 14,294.


The west end of the town contains "the Mote", the remains of a Norman motte-and-bailey. In the centre of the High Street is the Scots baronial style Town Hall, built in 1886, and the east end has an equestrian statue, known as "The Horse", erected in 1914. Drumlanrig's Tower, now a museum, dates largely from the mid-16th century.


Companies such as Hawick Cashmere, Hawick Knitwear, Johnstons of Elgin, Lyle & Scott, Peter Scott, Pringle of Scotland, and Scott and Charters, all have had and in many cases still have manufacturing plants in Hawick, producing some of the most luxurious cashmere and merino wool knitwear in the world today. The first knitting machine was brought to Hawick in 1771 by John Hardie, building on an existing carpet manufacturing trade. Originally based on linen, this quickly moved to wool and factories multiplied, driving the growth of the town. Engineering firm Turnbull and Scott previously had their headquarters in an Elizabethan-style listed building on Commercial Road before moving to Burnfoot.[4]


Hawick lies in the centre of the valley of the Teviot. The A7 Edinburgh to Carlisle road passes through the town, with main roads also leading to Berwick upon Tweed (the A698) and Newcastle upon Tyne (the A6088, which joins the A68 at the Carter Bar, 16 miles (26 km) south-east of Hawick).

Despite a great deal of local opposition the town lost its rail service in 1969, when as part of the controversial Beeching Axe the 'Waverley Line' from Carlisle to Edinburgh via Hawick was closed. It is now said to be the farthest large town from a railway station in the United Kingdom. Regular buses serve the railway station at Carlisle, 42 miles (68 km) away. Part of the former Waverley line is currently being rebuilt from Edinburgh to Tweedbank and is due to open in the summer of 2015. Campaigners are lobbying for the line to be extended to Hawick and then on to Carlisle.

The nearest major airports are at Edinburgh, 57 miles (92 km) away, and Newcastle, 55 miles (89 km) away.

Hawick Town Hall, on High Street by James Campbell Walker.
A track to the west of Shankend Farm The twin summits in the distance are the Maiden Paps.

Culture and traditions

The town hosts the annual Common Riding, which combines the annual riding of the boundaries of the town's common land with the commemoration of a victory of local youths over an English raiding party in 1514. In March 2007, this was described by the tourism Rough Guide as one of the best parties in the world.[5]

People from Hawick call themselves "Teries", after a traditional song which includes the line "Teribus ye teri odin".

Teri Talk

Many Hawick residents speak the local dialect of Border Scots which is informally known as "Teri Talk". It is similar (but not identical by any means) to the dialects spoken in surrounding towns, especially Jedburgh, Langholm and Selkirk. The speech of this general area was described in Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland (1873) by James Murray, considered the first systematic study of any dialect. The Hawick tongue retains many elements of Old English, together with particular vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Its distinctiveness arose from the relative isolation of the town.


The town is the home of Hawick Rugby Football Club and a senior football team, Hawick Royal Albert, who currently play in the East of Scotland Football League.

Rivalry between the small Border towns is generally played out on the rugby union field. The historical competition continues to this day, as Hawick's main rival is the similarly-sized town of Galashiels.

The Hawick Baw game was once played here by the 'uppies' and the 'doonies' on the first Monday after the new moon in the month of February. The river of the town formed an important part of the pitch. Although no longer played at Hawick, it is still played at nearby Jedburgh.


This Abbey is part of five other abbeys and historic sights though Scotland on Borders Abbeys Way walk.

Town twinning

Notable residents

See also

Hawick's villages:


  1. ^ An Stòr-dàta Briathrachais, Retrieved 2010-02-03.
  2. ^ Scots Language Centre: Scottish Place Names in Scots
  3. ^ Town Size. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  4. ^ "16-20 Commercial Road". British Listed Buildings. 
  5. ^ "Guide book praises common riding". BBC. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  6. ^ "Tornado hits Hawick twin town Bailleul".  

Further reading

  • Murray, James (1870–72, 1873) The Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland, London: Philological Society.

External links

  • The Online Resource for Hawick
  • Southern Scots
  • Old Photographs Of Hawick And The Scottish Borders
  • Photos Of Hawick
  • Picture of the ba game at Hawick dated 1904
  • A Hawick Wordbook - Douglas Scott
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