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Hawick (/ˈhɔɪk/ (About this sound listen) HOYK;  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.

A town landscape
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 NT505155
• Edinburgh 39.7 mi (63.9 km) NNW
• London 292 mi (470 km) SSE
Council area
Lieutenancy area
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
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°25′19″N 2°47′13″W / 55.422°N 2.787°W / 55.422; -2.787Coordinates: 55°25′19″N 2°47′13″W / 55.422°N 2.787°W / 55.422; -2.787

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



"Horn's Hole, Hawick, Scotland", ca. 1890 - 1900.

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. In 2009 another monument the "Turning of the Bull" (artist, Angela Hunter, Innerleithen, Scotland) was unveiled in Hawick. This monument depicts William Rule turning the wild bull as it was charging King Robert the Bruce, thus saving the king's life and beginning the Scottish Clan of Turnbull. A poem written by John Leyden commemorates this historical event. "His arms robust the hardy hunter flung around his bending horns, and upward wrung, with writhing force his neck retorted round, and rolled the panting monster to the ground, crushed, with enormous strength, his bony skull; and courtiers hailed the man who turned the bull."



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.[citation needed] Engineering firm Turnbull and Scott previously had their headquarters in an Elizabethan-style listed building on Commercial Road before moving to Burnfoot.[7]

In recent times, the economy of Hawick has weakened markedly, at a rate likely ahead of the overall Scottish Borders economy, particularly through the closure of once significant employers including mills like Peter Scott and Pringle. This has reduced the population of the town, which was 13,730 in 2016, the lowest level since the 1800s. Despite efforts to improve the economic situation, the town continues to struggle with unemployment, a dwindling high street, and antisocial behaviour. Developments such as a new central business hub, Aldi supermarket, and distillery, all set for opening in 2018/19, are expected to bring some benefit to the town.


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).

The town lost its rail service in 1969, when as part of the Beeching Axe the 'Waverley Route' from Carlisle to Edinburgh via Hawick was closed. It was said to be the farthest large town from a railway station in the United Kingdom,[8] but this changed as a result of the opening of the Borders Railway, which reopened part of the former Waverley Route to Tweedbank, near Galashiels. Regular buses serve the railway station at Carlisle, 42 miles (68 km) away.

The nearest major airports are at Edinburgh, 57 miles (92 km) away, and Newcastle, 56 miles (90 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 traditionsEdit

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 Rough Guide publication World Party as one of the best parties in the world.[9]

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

Teri TalkEdit

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] The Hawick tongue retains many elements of Old English,[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[10] 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.


The Borders Abbeys Way passes through Hawick.

Town twinningEdit

Notable residentsEdit

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ "16-20 Commercial Road". British Listed Buildings. 
  8. ^ Brocklehurst, Steven. "What was Beeching's worst railway cut?". Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Guide book praises common riding". BBC. 2007-03-13. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  10. ^ "February 2010". Retrieved 2018-08-02. 
  11. ^ "Tornado hits Hawick twin town Bailleul". Hawick News. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 

Further readingEdit

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

External linksEdit