"A parish in Berwickshire, situated on the border betwixt Lauderdale and Lammermuir. It extends about 3 miles in length by 2½ in breadth, comprehending an area of 8 miles. The surface consists of an assemblage of hills, rising gradually from the Leader, interspersed with deep mosses, in which are found large trunks of different kinds of trees, which renders it highly probable that the hills and glens, with the circumjacent country, were formerly a part of an immense forest. The soil of the arable land is chiefly a blackish mossy loam, intermixed with sand, and the gravel formed by the mouldering down of the adjacent rocks. It is tolerably fertile, and would be productive of heavy crops, were it not for the disadvantages of an exposed situation and a weeping climate. The hills afford pasture to 3770 sheep, 560 black cattle and 120 horses. Birkhillside, the seat of the family of Shillinglaw, is the only mansion of note. There are 3 ancient towers, one of which is very entire, and affords a striking monument of the taste of our ancestors. Population in 1801, 495."
From the Gazetteer of Scotland published 1806, Edinburgh.