Day 6: The Solway Firth

According to the OS map a mile or two into the estuary of the Solway Firth, somewhere in the channel of the river Eden amongst the mud flats and quick sands is the western end of the border. The Lochmaben Stone marks a more distinctive end of the border. It is all that is left of a stone circle dating back to around 3000BC, now sitting in an arable field on the north banks of the firth about a mile from the the Sark where the border leaves the Solway. At 7 feet high and 18 feet in girth it would have been a very visible landmark on the flat Solway Plain for several millennia. During the centuries of turmoil and bloodshed prior to the Union of the Crowns, it was a meeting place for arrangements for truces and exchange of prisoners. Raiding parties also met here before launching expeditions into England and Scottish armies assembled here before major incursions or defence operations took place.

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The Lochmaben Stone, traditional marker for the Western end of the border and meeting point for the Wardens of the Marches and raiding parties.

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Grass island in the quicksand of the Firth

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Coy figure on the banks of the Firth at Eastriggs

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Swans on the Channel of the Esk in the Firth

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