Looking back over the old maps, even though it might appear like a quiet rural backwater, things never stood still for long around Edenmouth.
Since Edenmouth appeared on maps in the 18th century, the settlement has steadily increased in size as more houses and farm buildings were added. Now there are plans to add three more houses, including ours.
I think while you can read so much from the maps, they raise more questions than they answer. It’s going to be really interesting discovering on the ground how the water got through to the Mill, and finding out about the history of the development of the farm steading.
Way back in 1654, Edenmouth just didn’t feature, on the map at any rate. We can see the Eden Water flowing into the Tweed from the north, and Ednam at the top of our clip here, but no Edenmouth. There’s a mill marked on the Eden but that could easily just be the wool mill at Ednam, but as you can see, the detail leaves something to be desired.
Fast forward to 1770 and we start to appear. The map surveyor was perhaps not really listening and identified Edenmouth as Ednam-mouth, but the river is still called the Eden Water. There’s no mention of the Edenmouth Mill, but both the mills at Ednam and over the river at Banffmill are there as is the boathouse which appears on most of the maps from now on, possibly as something to do with the old ferry between Edenmouth and the Banff Mill.
On to 1832 and not much has moved on. There’s a few more lanes marked but that’s about it.
1840: For the first time, there’s more detail about the area around Edenmouth. The Farmhouse and Farm cottages exist, as does the Mill and the mill race (Mill Lade) taking water from the Eden Water and feeding it back in just before it gets to the Tweed. No sign yet of the steading.
In 1857 we get the first detailed maps of the area. This is the first 25 inches to the mile map of Edenmouth.
We get to see the detail of the water flowing along the complex of buildings around the Mill with the water flowing alongside the main Mill building, then flowing out of the other building to the north east along a tree-lined channel which must therefore have existed for some time.
Also appearing for the first time is the field from which our plot has been carved out presumably to provide space for managing the livestock in the larger field to the north west.
We also see detail of the Mill Ford to the east of Edenmouth. The idea of a ford across the Tweed these days feels a touch adventurous, but pulling a horse drawn cart would have been viable at lower water levels.
1898: The Steading and the Farm buildings appear in their entirety as does Ash Cottage. Our field is again marked specifically, as is the water pump just along the lane to the west.
The water pump made us look twice – the fact that someone has tried extracting water from the rather sandy and gravelly soil (well, the sandy rock further down!) might have promising implications for our ground source heat pump.
1924: First mention of the small reservoir (water tank) on the hill to the west of the settlement.
1993: Published in 1993 but surveyed some years before, we see the first reference to a sheep wash on the plot. This was subject to a land contamination report completed just before we bought our plot. No contamination was found.
More development now appears round the steading (and less round the original house).
Coming right up to date, even on this 1 inch map, the sheepwash is still marked. Much less is apparent on the Tweed – no sign of the ferry or the ford now, and the old road Edenmouth bridge has been augmented by a new concrete model, apparently widening and straightening a dangerous bit of main road.
And now looking at the satellite view, we start to see signs of the new building work. There’s a new lane running round the north of the steading and along the east side of our plot. There are signs of work on the Mill at the top of the picture next door to the white rectangle of the temporary caravan that’s to become our home this summer.
At the top edge can be seen the gap in the mill race where the farmer has cut a new track through for his tractor. Sadly this means the race probably can’t be reinstated – it would have made a fine hydro electric project!
Of course this is nothing compared to the mudpit it’s going to be later on this year when we all get going!