Lothian Estates, located in the Scottish Borders close to the historic abbey town of Jedburgh, is a working estate incorporating let farms, housing, forestry, fishing, shooting and various small commercial activities, and is home to a variety of built and natural heritage.
Dating from the first half of the fourteenth century, when the Kerr family settled in the area, the Estate encompasses a large stretch of the River Teviot as well as Monteviot House and Ferniehirst Castle. Robert Kerr became the First Marquis of Lothian in 1701, and in 2004 the Earl of Ancram succeeded his father to become Thirteenth Marquis of Lothian.
On the Estate stands a Monument, 170 feet high, and referred to locally as the ‘Waterloo Monument’ which can be seen from Carter Bar, from Berwick and from the Lammermuirs. It was built by the 6th Marquis of Lothian to commemorate the 1st Duke of Wellington and his great victory over the French at the Battle of Waterloo, honouring the bravery and sacrifice made by men from Northumberland and Scotland in the war. This was a battle which changed the course of history, finally putting to an end the imperialistic ambitions of Napoleon Bonaparte who planned to preside over an empire comprising of Europe, including Britain and beyond.
The 18th June this year marked the 200th anniversary of this historic victory. A fantastic free Commemorative Event was held on Penielheugh on Sunday 28th June 2015 to mark the occasion. The event was hosted by Lothian Estates and due to an enormous amount of hard work, organisation and planning, attracted over 7,000 visitors and supporters. Television historian, Peter Snow, brought the battle to life as scenes were re-enacted around the Waterloo Monument by the 94th of Foot, Scots Greys, Army and Air Cadets.
Local silver bands and pipe bands were invited to play, and there were many food stalls and children’s amusements to entertain the crowds throughout the day. A special beer and whisky were developed and launched on the day. A cavalcade of horses led by The Jethart Callant brought together 175 horses and riders from the area with Ian Stark playing the part of the Duke of Wellington. The day ended with the Military Band Beating of the Retreat and a wonderful display of daylight fireworks.
It was a fantastic spectacle and a great afternoon of family entertainment, all made possible by the Estate, local people, volunteers from the army and air forces plus the support of local businesses. As the monument is the only significant memorial to the battle in both Scotland and Northern England, the estate was the perfect setting for such an historic event and Lothian Estates were delighted to be able to hold such a popular and entertaining community gathering.