From 6000 BC (i.e.
Before Christ's birth)
There is evidence to prove that
human activity was present within what is now known as The Eastern
Borders and Northumberland. The people were nomadic, as they did not
build permanent houses nor erect monuments to their dead, preferring
to travel across the land gathering plants and vegetables and
following the herds of deer which were a source of food. Animal skin
would have been used for tents and clothing whilst tools would have
been from bones, stone or flint. These ancient tools can still be
found in rock shelters and caves as was shown at Fairnieside Farm,
near Ayton, where, in 1876, a stone age cutting or cleaving
instrument was found.
From around 3000
People started to farm and to
herd animals and they constructed permanent homes as well as
religious and funeral monuments. Monuments from 3000BC are located
in The Eastern Borders and Northumberland, and they include: ring
marks, stone circles, burial cairns and hill forts.
From around 1000
There were the first signs of a
community in the area. Evidence of this was revealed again at
Fairnieside Farm when in 1968, a farmers plough opened up an adult
grave which was estimated to be 3000 years old.
From around 750 BC
||The first Celts came to what is now
Scotland, displacing ancestral settlers as the dominant
However, the Celts, as was typical around their homelands
across Europe, were never one kingdom as separate families
gathered together to form tribes or clans.
Scotland had at least 16 tribes with the tribesmen loyal
to their own respective kings and queens. Those north of the
Forth-Clyde isthmus were to become known as the Pictii by
the Romans, or as we know call them, "Picts". Those in
the south were regarded as Brythonic/Brethonic or, as they
became known, the "Britons".
The tribe which ruled what is now The Eastern
Borders, the Lothians and Northumberland were the Votadini (later
known as Y Gododdin by the dark ages): their capital was located on
a hill in East Lothian called Traprain Law (between Haddington and
East Linton just off the A1). These tribesmen and women, as well as
those living in most of the area to the south of the Forth-Clyde
isthmus probably spoke a language similar to the old Welsh/Brethonic
tribes occupying what were later to become Wales and England.
To the north of Traprain Law was another Votadinian
centre called Din Eidyn, later to become Dunedin - today we call it
To the south it is possible that Ayton Hill with its
panoramic views and fresh water supply was also used by the Votadini
Celts as a base.