FLITTING UP THE BRAE
Lairds were fairly heavy handed in the 18th century in these parts-as I learned from an 'Observer' as I was buying a 'Scotsman on Sunday' at Nairns this morning. Apparently the nearby village of Gavinton has just celebrated the 250th anniversary of its foundation by a gentleman called Gavin. He had just bought Langton House in 1758 and (as you can read more fully here
The interesting bit is as follows
"Learning that the estate of Langton was in the market, David Gavin purchased it in 1758 and decided that his new house should overlook Langton Glen. Unfortunately the dilapidated cottages which had huddled under the protecting walls of the old castle were a blot on the landscape. But a wealthy financier had potent magic at his command. He waved his wand; a new village (to be called Gavinton in his honour) appeared on the crest of the Crimson or Crimstane Hill half a mile away, and the cottagers “flitted” up the brae. The ancient hamlet of Langton was razed to the ground and the historic tower demolished. The new owner of Langton was no dilettante country gentleman however and he soon set about improving the land, giving it the benefit of the marl that was plentiful on the estate end of the line, which he transported from Northumberland. As a result, the rental that had been £1100 when he came to Langton rose to upwards of £3000 by 1773.
So at one stroke he improved his new property, got rid of the eyes sores and the 'poisonous little Nimbies' they sheltered and just about trebled his income. What an example for the twenty first Century Lairds to emulate. Any one wanting to be 'flitted up the Brae' should look around Berwickshire for potential flitters; TD15 might do. In that case:
some one might be tempted to start with, say, Paxton.
(Thank you Chris Maginn for the images of two ancient maps-showing Langton House just after the offending yokels has been flitted and the location of present day Gavinton)
Labels: Gavinton, Lairds, Langton, Paxton