We know that there are a number of Anglian sites on the banks of the Tweed especially where the river wash had left a steep bank and air photographs show marks of triple palisade enclosures. This type of settlement can be found near Hawick and above Selkirk in the Yarrow Valley. They are likely to be initial Anglian intrusions but no excavation has been attempted on these sites, so this has to be filed as ‘likely but unproven’.
Around 650, Anglian ‘scirs’ appeared, supplanting the Cumbric ‘maenors’ and frequently using to the same land boundaries. These shires were basically a grouping of ‘vills’ (villages) into an administrative unit for the purpose of supplying services to a manorial lord or thane. This unit was based on a ‘dominium’ or central place, the probable site of a mother church or the habitation of a ‘manorial lord’, together with a number of dependent ‘vills’ at some distance from the shire centre. The early Anglian estates of Berwickshire, Coldinghamshire, Norhamshire and Islandshire have been mapped out by Professor Barrow in ‘The Kingdom of the Scots’ where he also presented convincing proof of a Yetholmshire, encompassing land on both sides of the present border between Scotland and England. I intend to postulate a Melroseshire based on later land-grants from Selkirk and Melrose Abbey records.