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Remains of Lamberton Kirk - - 635455.jpg
The Remains of Lamberton Kirk
Grid reference: NT968576
Location: 55°48’43"N, 2°3’9"W
Postcode: TD15
Local Government
Council: Scottish Borders

Lamberton is hamlet and its area in south-easterm Berwickshire, extending over what was once an extensive, hilly landed estate. The hamlet has a ruined church, with a noble history, and which remains the family burial place for the lairds.

The hamlet is part of the parish of Mordington and nestles up against the boundary of Northumberland: Lamberton is the first place in Berwickshire reached on a northward journey on the A1. Just to the south is Northumberland's northernmost place, Marshall Meadows in the Liberties of Berwick: the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed itself is four miles to the south. The eastern boundary of the Lamberton lands is the North Sea, with the Berwickshire Coastal Path running along the rocky shoreline.

Lamberton hamlet, to the extendt it can be placed, is just to the west of the A1 along the line of the old Great North Road and a back-lane leading off it. At the edge of the hamlet is Maryfield (which is on the modern A1), and the area includes also Lamberton Shiels in the north, Lamberton Beach, Lamberton Holdings (between Lamberton and Lamberton Shiels) and Lamberton Moor, in the north-west.


Early history of the estate

Adam de Lamberton gave a charter of a third part of his land of Lamberton to his grandson, Galfrido de Hasswell between 1190 and 1200.[1]

In the National Archives of Scotland (RH1/2/59) there is a charter of Sir Peter de Mordington, knt., son of the deceased Sir William de Mordington, as superior, in favour of Simon de Baddeby of certain lands in Lamberton, dated 1270. A William de Lamberton was superior c1318.[2]

Some records give Lamberton as a feudal barony; others that it became part of the vast barony assigned to Coldingham Priory.

Renton family

A charter (RH1/2/98) dated 21 November 1325 of Agnes de Mordington, in favour of John de Raynton, thereafter designated as "of Lamberton", appears to herald the long possession of Lamberton by this family, descendants of the ancient foresters of Coldingham Priory. "Robert de Renton, Lord of Lamberton" was in possession in 1407.[3] In 1632 David Renton of Billie held "the forty husbandlands (1040 acres) of Lambertoun within the lordship of Coldingham".[4]

By the 18th century the Rentons had passed their ancient estate of Billie to the Homes, but retained Lamberton. The Rentons of Lamberton were in the early 19th century represented by Alexander Renton of Lamberton (d. before March 1831), who was served his father's heir in the lands and mains of Lamberton in 1774, and whose only child, a daughter Susanna, married Robert Campbell, a Colonel in the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot. Their son, Charles Frederick (1819 - 1891), Colonel in the 87th Regiment of Foot, hyphenated his surname. The Campbell-Rentons of Lamberton, and, later, Mordington House, also failed in the male line with the death in 1948 of Robert Charles Campbell-Renton.

Royal marriage

The now ruined Lamberton Kirk was the church where, in July 1503, Margaret Tudor the daughter of King Henry VII of England, met the representatives of King James IV of Scotland (and traditionally is said to have married him here by proxy), thus leading to the eventual succession of James VI to the English throne. Only ruins of the nave and chancel remain, as the burial-place of the Rentons of Lamberton.[5]

A tournament featuring knights from both England and Scotland participated in a tournament on Lamberton Moor to celebrate the marriage of Margaret Tudor and King James.[6]

Irregular marriages

The Old Toll House at Lamberton, now demolished, stands just inside Scotland, and was notorious for its irregular marriages. From 1798 to 1858 keepers of the Toll, as well as questionable men-of-the-cloth used to marry couples in the same fashion as at the more familiar Gretna Green. The site of the house is marked by a plaque.[7]


Lamberton today consists largely of smallholdings [8] compulsorily purchased, under an Act of Parliament, from the last Campbell-Renton laird, to provide a living for soldiers returning from The Great War. However, the land was not suited to crops, the holdings were too small for anything other than subsistence living, and today the original holdings are generally merged with others to make larger farms. Some modern house-building activity has taken place over the past decade along the original Great North Road (now bypassed). There is no town or village, as such, just scattered housing, with spectacular views over the North Sea.

See also

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Lamberton)


  1. Historic Manuscripts Commission, Manuscripts of Colonel David Milne Home of Wedderburn Castle, N.B., London, 1902: 223
  2. Historic Manuscripts Commission, Manuscripts of Colonel David Milne Home of Wedderburn Castle, N.B., London, 1902: 226
  3. Historic Manuscripts Commission, Manuscripts of Colonel David Milne Home of Wedderburn Castle, N.B., London, 1902: 227
  4. Historic Manuscripts Commission, Manuscripts of Colonel David Milne Home of Wedderburn Castle, N.B., London, 1902: 200
  5. Strang, Borders and Berwick: 20
  6. Aikman, J & Gordon, W. (1839) An Account of the Tournament at Eglinton. Pub. Hugh Paton, Carver & Gilder. Edinburgh. M.DCCC.XXXIX. P. XII.
  7. Steven, Alexander C.A., The Story of Lamberton Toll, 1933
  8. Williams, John, editor, Smallholding Memories, Berwick-upon-Tweed, 2000
  • A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, by Sir Bernard Burke, C.B.,LL.D., Ulster King of Arms, Ninth Edition, London, 1898, p. 1251.
  • Borders and Berwick, by Charles A Strang, Rutland Press, 1994. ISBN 1-873190-10-7