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Three Ways To Learn About Hawick

Come and Explore the Cultural Heritage of Hawick

Like many of the border towns in Scotland, Hawick has a rich and action-packed history that embraces both its Scottish roots as well as the effects that English rule had over the area.

History books trace back the town’s origin all the way to the 12th Century, when it was recorded that King David I gifted the land that the town lies on to a local Norman family. Over the centuries that passed, the small village developed into a bustling town that dealt a roaring trade in textiles, specifically high-quality knitwear – a tradition that continues to this day.

If you’re looking to take a trip to our lovely town of Hawick, you can’t avoid the history that the place is drenched in. Thankfully, there are a number of cultural attractions that can help you gather some historical context and give you an idea of what life was like back in the early days of the town. The majority of these places are free to visit and offer an unparalleled chance to get to grips with the heritage that the town is famous for.

Borders Textile Towerhouse

Celebrating Hawick’s long-standing tradition of producing high-quality textiles that have been exported all around the world, the Towerhouse was opened in 2009 inside the oldest remaining building in the town. Built somewhere in the mid-16th Century, it was originally intended to be used as a defensive building, however it didn’t remain that way for long. By the turn of the 18th Century, the Towerhouse had been transformed into a grand home, replete with all the luxuries befitting its illustrious residents.

Today the Towerhouse contains hundreds of examples of textiles that bring together centuries of textile creation in Hawick, including work from Scottish artists, contemporary fashion and costume design.

Hawick Museum & Scott Art Gallery

The History of Hawick itself is one full of conflict, underdog stories and surprise victories. Rather than lose all the precious heritage that had been built up over the centuries, the good people of Hawick set up their own Museum collecting their own history in 1856. Everything from the legendary Common Riding, a tradition continued in honour of the group of youths that triumphed over an English raiding part in the early 16th Century, to entire rooms celebrating the tragic history of biking heroes Jimmie Guthrie and Steve Hislop.

The Scott Art Gallery can be found on the 1st floor of the building, collecting paintings by the popular water colour painter. Born in local Selkirk, Tom Scott became a regular visitor to Hawick during his time as an artist, frequenting the Tower Hotel (a century before it would become the Borders Textile Towerhouse).

 

Heritage Hub 

Ironically and typical for the town, the history of Hawick’s Heritage Hub is a story unto itself. Originally designed as a Corn Exchange, the building moved from an agricultural purpose to encompass a more recreational remit towards the start of the 20th Century. An entertainment company, in its infancy, purchased the building in 1910 and repurposed the Exchange into the town’s very first cinema which still runs to this day under the new name of the Heritage Hub.

The current building now serves a dual purpose, continuing to entertain the people of Hawick and also enlighten them on their ancestry. Those interested can fill in a short form and then gain access to the collection of documents to peruse at their leisure. Other than charges for printing and photocopying, the service is absolutely free.

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