Royal and Ancient Burgh of Lauder  
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Lauder is situated beside the River Leader on one of the oldest routes between Edinburgh and England. It lies in a lush valley near the foot of the Lammermuir Hills. The earliest mentions of Lauder are when it was known as Lawedir (12-15th century), Loweder (c.1300) and Lawdir (1574). Lauder is in a perfect location for the visitor and local alike to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Borders.

This Town Trail has been set up by Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Borders Tourist Board (Land of Creativity), the Heritage Lottery Fund (Awards for All) and the Lauderdale Initiative Group. This trail is just one part of the Land of Creativity programme taking place in the Scottish Borders during 2000 as part of the UK wide Millenium Festival.

Land of Creativity celebrates the unique landscape of the Borders and the rich tradition of creativity it has inspired. Its aim is to encourage a further appreciation of the Borders literary and creative heritage, to inspire new talents and to create new interest in the culture and environment, amongst both residents and visitors.

Over the last few centuries, many important people have hailed from Lauder and left their mark not only in the town but all over the world. Visitors too have written much about the town including a travelling minstrel who liked the town so much that he wrote the ballad of 'Leader Haughs and Yarrow'. This famous song has been sung for many generations, possibly the most celebrated rendition being by 'Midside Maggie' outside the Tower of London when she went to visit the Earl of Lauderdale who was imprisoned there in the 17th century.

The trail is approximately 2km (1.25 miles) long and takes about 1 hour to complete. Those with less time to spare may wish to reduce this by referring to the trail map in the centre pages. The trail starts and finishes at the New Leader Leisure Centre in Mid Row.

In order to guide you, numbered plaques are situated along the route at specific points of interest. Information relating to them can be found within this leaflet. Please note that many of the sites on the trail are private houses and we would ask you to respect the privacy of the residents.

We hope that you enjoy walking the Town Trail and that you will have a pleasant stay in Lauder.

Lauder Seal: The seal of the Burgh represents the Virgin with the Holy Child in her arms. The head of each figure is surrounded by a corona, or halo - thus indicating the pre- Reformation period as the date of origin of the seal. There is no legend on the seal.

Next: Historical Background

Town Trail: An Introduction, Lauder Scotland