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'Marooned' in Cumbria
a view of the Scottish land which lies on the English side of the border.
A view of the Scottish land which lies on the English side of the border

Will Tillotson
BBC Radio Cumbria

Did you know there's a little bit of Scotland marooned in England just to the north of Longtown?

When the Waverley Line was built in 1861 to take trains from Carlisle to Edinburgh the engineers found a number of natural obstacles to overcome.

One was half a mile from Riddings Station and a cliff next to the river.

The solution left two acres of land on the south bank of the Liddle, which is still subject to Scottish law almost 150 years on.

More of a hassle

The old station house at Riddings Station
The old station house at Riddings Station

When the railway builders came across the section of the Liddle that ran hard against a cliff face they realised they'd have to change the course of the tracks - or the river!

The river option proved cheaper, or easier, or quite possibly both.

When Ian Ellithorn bought Riddings Farm seven years ago his English solicitors explained that they couldn't do the conveying for those two acres and they would have to be done by solicitors based north of the border.

Ian says that proved to be more of a hassle than the remaining three hundred acres subject to English law put together.


River Liddle looking towards Scotland

He also says that the stretch of river that cuts through the Scottish section of his land is governed by fishing laws from over the border, so he's not allowed to cast a line from that bank on a Sunday.

Despite the restrictions and legal requirements Ian says he's honoured to own a farm with what could be a unique feature along the border.

A little bit of Scotland lying, for the time being, in Cumbria.

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