Maxton Scotland
The Parish Web Site - Scottish Borders

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The History of Maxton Parish

The name Maxton is believed to come from 'the tun or homestead of Maccus'. Maccus, who is thought to have been a Saxon settler, is recorded as living in the area in 1116, when he witnessed various documents. The name appears written as Mackeston, Mackiston, Maxston, Maxtun, Maccuston, Maxtoun and eventually as Maxton in 1580. The same Maccus, it is believed, also had land in Kelso, above Maccus' wiel, now Maxwheel, which gave its name to Maxwellheugh, and to all the Scottish Maxwells.

In earlier times, the area was settled by the Votadini, a tribe who were based on the Eildon Hills.

Evidence of previous settlers has been turned up within the village in some quantity. A Bronze age scraper, Iron age armlet and brooch, Roman brooch and coins and various items from the so-called Dark Ages have all been discovered.

Many coins from the 11th century through to the 16th have been metal detected in the area, with the largest number being from the 12th and 13th centuries, 55 in all, 49 bearing the head of an English King and 9 that of a Scot.

Much of the land in the area belonged to the the Abbeys of Melrose or Dryburgh, the rest being in the keeping of local landowners, who gained land when in favour with the King, and lost it again when out of favour.

Being a rural area, agriculture has always been the main industry, as it still is today.

Within the Parish there are many sites steeped in history:
Dere Street or Watling Street as it is known further south, was the main arterial road across the Eastern Borders in Roman times. It joined the major fort of Trimontium to the south through Hadrian's Wall. Trimontium lies at the base of the Eildon Hills near modern day Newstead. An exhibition with artefacts, excavated at the site of Trimontium, and an excellent display of material about the Romans is open during the summer season in Melrose.

Parish History | Muirhouselaw and Rutherford | Littledean Tower


Maxton 2000

As one of the activities for the Millennium Celebrations, the history of the Parish was researched, compiled, written and published by Charles Denoon. This book 'Maxton 2000 - A History of the Parish of Maxton' contains line drawings by Priscilla Scott, which were specially commissioned, and many black and white photographs both old and new. Both Priscilla and Charlie live in the village.