NT8815 : Valley of the Usway Burn below Davidson's Linn

taken 7 years ago, 5 km from Barrowburn, Northumberland, Great Britain

Valley of the Usway Burn below Davidson's Linn
Valley of the Usway Burn below Davidson's Linn
The junction, in the distance, of the Usway Burn with Inner Hare Cleugh, is the site of an illicit whisky distillery known as Rory's Still. As I had come to look for its remains in this remote spot (in the middle of winter) it was galling to find I had walked all around it NT8814 : Valley of Usway Burn north of Uswayford (and even further afield). Only subsequent research back home in the warm showed me the error of the grid references I had taken from the literature. But that's a story for when I eventually get there in the future.
Whisky distilling in upper Coquetdale :: NT8909
During the Napoleonic Wars the tax levied on spirits in England increased four-fold. The duty in Scotland was much lower, and the difference in price encouraged whisky smuggling down the drove roads that cross the Cheviot Hills. Excise men would patrol the hills, stopping and searching carts and travellers for contraband liquor.

Smugglers like Black Rory and Whisky Jack Kane then turned to making their own whisky by Coquetdale’s fast flowing streams. Local farmers secretly supplied the barley and peat for firing the malt kiln that was dug near the still.

Philipson, J, 1991, Whisky Smuggling on the Border, Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle upon Tyne.

LinkExternal link

Coquet Whisky: LinkExternal link
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NT8815, 30 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 20 January, 2012   (more nearby)
Sunday, 22 January, 2012
Geographical Context
Uplands  Grassland  Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Woodland, Forest 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 8842 1545 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:25.9681N 2:11.0729W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 8849 1560
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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