I am currently travelling by train, speeding towards the Scottish Borders and the town of Berwick Upon Tweed. Berwick has a fascinating history, it changed hands many times between the two countries in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. It was sacked and the scene of a massacre by Edward I in the 1290s which led to the infamous Ragmans Role being signed by Scottish nobles and giving Edward authority over Scotland.
The Battle of Homildon Hill was another disaster for a Scots army just a few years after Bruce’s death. The loss set back the Scots nation building after all the gains by Wallace and Bruce.
Although today a fairly quiet town bypassed by road and rail, its worth visiting even if it is in England!
The local football team, Berwick Rangers, although in England, play their football in the Scottish Leagues.
One other claim to fame; in the past, UK international treaties were done in the name of “The United Kingdoms of England, Scotland, Ireland and Berwick Upon Tweed” This was the form of the declaration of war between us an Russia in the 18th century. however the subsequent peace omitted the Berwick part and so the town remained technically at war with Russia.
In a ceremony in the 1960s the town hosted the Soviet ambassador for a “peace treaty” and the then Mayor announced, “…the Russians can now sleep soundly in their beds”.