Full day tour
Max 4 persons
We will visit all the important places connected to the Pringle clan.
Beginning in Galashiels we will visit Torwoodlee tower and take a walk to Torwoodlee Broch.
We will then visit Melrose Abbey to see the Pringle burial sites. Then to Smailholm Tower.
Depending on the weather and terrain we will take a walk to the Brothers Standing Stones and the old Pringle village of Wrangholm.
Full day stopping in Melrose for lunch (not included)
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The Hoppringill name was used along the river Gala about 30 miles from Edinburgh. An actual place name of Hoppringill can be found near the village of Stow where the name probably developed from.
Although a small family in this day and age, Hoppringill was the oldest used surname in the Scottish Borders. The Hoppringills were close allies of larger Borders families where they became incorporated in through marriage so the name became slightly lost, hence why the last family chief died in 1737 without a true lineage to the next chief. This may also due to a large off spring off females who married into such families as Scott or Douglas.
Around 1600 the more common spelling derived from a shortened form of Pringill and then following similar trends of spelling to Pringle.
Many Pringles found themselves emigrating to America and Canada where the family name lives on. Of course Pringle lends its name to the worldwide famous brand of fashion woolen textiles with its headquarters still in the Scottish Borders.
We start out tour just 1 mile west of Galashiels along the River Gala
Although the official seat of the Pringle clan is at Torsonce near Stow, one of their best builds is at Torwoodlee where they build a tower on the small lands of the forest they owned.
This tower was build by William Pringle from Smailholm (we will visit this area later) in early 16th century. This was build to improve the family wealth and aspirations.
The tower is now ruinous, not from any type of warfare but more from closing the doors on the tower and moving into a newly build manor house in the late 18th century where the current Laird of Galashiels resides.
The estate of Torwoodlee now incorporates many of the other family septs residences a short distance away.
We will then take a gentle stroll to Torwoodlee Broch which lies on the estate.
Although not technically involved in the story of the Pringles it resides on the land currently owned by the Pringle estate and could be where the Pringles came from.
A broch is a iron age stone circle building mostly found in the north of Scotland and is not native to the lowland regions of Scotland.
There is a handful known brochs within the Borders and a bit of a mystery why they exist here.
The broch at Torwoodlee throws up more mystery as a long ditch structure seams to end at the broch. The ditch structure is around 11.5 miles long (as the crow flies) but is longer in terms of how it meanders through the country side.
Much speculation has went into why this ditch came to be, the most likely explanation is a land barrier between 2 tribes of different ancient religions.
Check out these 2 videos of Marks to find out more:
Its then back in the car where we will take a 4 mile drive to Melrose Abbey.
There are many aspects to Melrose abbey that is worth the visit alone.
But we will visit the “Pringle Aisle” which is the burial place of the Pringles of Smailholm and Whytbank.
There will be an entry fee into the abbey!
Another drive for 8 miles through some of the most beautiful Borders countryside…
We will arrive at Smailholm tower.
Smailholm tower is probably the best preserved example of a Peel tower.
A peel tower is a prototypical dwelling of the Scottish Borders, build to protect its inhabitants and livestock.
This tower was originally built by the Pringles of Smailholm in the early 16th Century. The tower was acquired by the Scotts family in the 17th century and became an inspiration for the novelist Sir Walter Scott who spent time at the near-by farm recovering from polio.
The exhibitions involve many Pringle related articles as well as Sir Walter Scott.
There is also a entry fee to this attraction!
The following attraction is subject to the weather and capability as it involves a long walk along off-the-beaten tracks.
We can arrange a alternate attraction should this not be suitable
After our visit to Smailholm we will take to the hills to trace a lost village of the Pringles.
Wrangholm is a lost village not to far from Smailholm but part of the Pringle family held land there. Not the same family of those who resided at Smailholm.
Wangholm appears on old maps and there is documentation of the Pringles that also exist of owning this land. But there is a slight confusion of why and also why the settlement disappeared.
One our walk we will take in the splendid views and visit a megalithic site of standing stones that may show some significance to the village of Wrangholm.