Two tributaries once swelled the Tweed near here, but these are now overflows from the reservoirs constructed in the nearby hills earlier last century. One of these, Talla, now hides in its depths the ruins of ancient peels or fortified houses. One such would have been the stronghold of Young Hay of Talla, executed in 1568 for the murder of Darnley, husband of Mary Queen of Scots. On the heights which surround this remote place solitary men once kept watch for dragoons, for here the Covenanters held their meetings. Here too was held the celebrated Conference of Talla Linns in 1682, just outside the jurisdiction of the dreaded Claverhouse.
Just a mile or so down water we can stop and rest awhile, because we will have arrived at the Crook Inn where the Mail Coaches to Edinburgh once changed their horses
© 1996 Douglas Gregor