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the history of singdean since 1376

Since moving here in June 2012, we have tried to find out as much as we could about Singdean - who lived here and what did they do. A sort of family tree for Singdean.  This is a story of our discoveries so far.

DEAN’ - a hollow, where the ground slopes on both sides and generally has a rivulet running through it. And also a small valley. And a deep wooded valley of a small river. An unstressed form of the ending occurs as ‘den’, don’, and ‘ton’. ’Sengan denu’ - old English for a valley cleared by burning. Is this where the name Singdean, and all its variants, comes from?

1222 - 1603   Singdean is placed in the ‘Middle Marches’, the centre of a very troubled history of ‘The Border Reivers’ It was right on the borders of the areas known as both ‘Liddesdail’ and ‘Teviotdail’ or ‘Lidalia’ and ‘Tevotia’ and ‘Tiviotdale’. And also in the middle of ‘Hobkirk’ and Castleton. (We had the same problem when trying to register with a doctor as we were in the middle of 3 boundaries but not part of one!) The valley of Liddisdail was one of the most dangerous places to live in Europe. 

This Border Country as described in George MacDonald Fraser’s book ‘The Steel Bonnets’ - “the whole region, the very heart of Britain, contains some of the loveliest and some of the bleakest country in the British Isles. Along the central part of the frontier line itself is the great tangled ridge of the Cheviots, a rough barrier of desolate treeless tops and moorland with little valleys and gullies running every way like a great rumpled quilt. They are not high but they are bleak and lonely beyond description, ridge after ridge of sward and rough grass stretching away for ever, and an eternal breeze sweeping across the tufty slopes. 

They are melancholy mountains but even the incomer will recognise them as the most romantic hills in the world”

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