On top of the hill, in the Lammermuirs, stand two cairns about 100 meters apart from each other. Named the Twinlaw Cairns, the ancient stones are a monument to a pair of twin brothers. Legends states, that there was once an ancient Edgar chief, who had twin boys. When the twins were infants, Saxon assailants attacked Edgar’s village, killing many and capturing those not killed. The twin’s nurse was able to escape alongside the chief, but only managed to conceal one of the twins from the invaders.
Many years later, old Edgar and his men again came up against invading Saxons, this time upon the hilltop of the Lammermuirs. As the two sides prepared to fight, the Saxon leader challenged one mighty Scottish warrior to a one-on-one battle. Edgar sent forth his son and an epic battle ensued between the two champions who were matched physically. Steel clashed and blood flowed from the Saxon and Scot, but they fought on until finally the Scot set the final blow upon the Saxon.
Lamenting the death of his leader, an aged Saxon let slip the true identity of the fallen Saxon warrior. He was in fact the lost twin brother, captured in infancy then raised Saxon. Frantic with remorse, and suffering heavily from the battle, the Scot tore the bandages from his wounds and died on the body of his long lost brother.
The two armies, aghast at what had happened, worked side by side to raise two large piles of stones. They stood in a line from the burn to the hilltop, and hand by hand passed stones up the hill to build a lasting memorial to the fallen twins.
The legend was also immortalised in an old border ballad, with the final verse appearing on a plaque at the hill summit. Sadly the cairns were used for tank and artillery firing practice during the Second World War. However they have been restored and you can still see the tragic memorial to local lore at the top of the Lammermuirs today.
“And they biggit twa cairns on the heather
And they biggit them round and high
And they stand on the Twinlaw Hill
Where they twa brithers lie.”