Selkirkshire or Selkirk, former county, SE Scotland. Under the Local Government Act of 1973, Selkirkshire became (1975) part of the new Borders region (now the Scottish Borders council area).
Selkirkshire or the County of Selkirk (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Shalcraig) is a registration county of Scotland. It borders Peebles to the west, Midlothian to the north, Berwick to the north-east, Roxburgh to the east, and Dumfries to the south.

Until 1975 it was a county, with a county council formed by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889. Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 the county was abolished, with its area becoming part of the Ettrick and Lauderdale district of the Borders Region. The county town was the royal burgh of Selkirk. The county contained one other burgh, Galashiels.


In the 1st Century AD Selkirk formed part of the lands of the Gadeni who hunted it rather than settled there. Neither the Romans, Angles, or the Saxons cleared much of the forestry there and for centuries Selkirk was known for its forest coverage. Indeed an alternative name for the county was Ettrick Forest. Under the Scottish kings the forest was regarded as Royal. Despite this it was not until the reign of James V that sheriffs were appointed to administer the county on the Crown's behalf. Under Edward I of England, the forest was granted to the Earl of Gloucester. Later, the Earl of Pembroke assumed the hereditary sheriffdom. Under and after King Robert the Bruce, the Earls of Douglas, and later Earls of Angus administered the county on behalf of the Crown, until the Union of the Crowns.

Folk ballads written of the county commemorate the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645, the 'Dowie Dens' at Yarrow and Tibbie Shiels at St Mary's Loch.


The population as returned at the census was as follows:

  • 1801: 5,889
  • 1811: 6,637
  • 1821: 6,833
  • 1841: 7,990
  • 1851: 9,809
  • 1861: 10,449
  • 1871: 19,651
  • 1881: 26,346
  • 1891: 28,068
  • 1901: 23,356
  • 1911: 24,601
  • 1921: 22,607
  • 1931: 22,711
  • 1951: 21,729

Further reading

The archeology and historic buildings of the county were documented in 1957 by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Scotland. There is also a History of Selkirkshire by T. Craig Brown, published in 1886.


External links

  • "Selkirkshire" from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland by Samuel Lewis, 1846 (British History Online)
  • Selkirkshire from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica (Love to Know)
  • Entries on Selkirkshire from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland by Frances Groome(1882-4) and the Gazetteer of the British Isles by John Bartholomew (1887)(Vision of Britain)

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