The life of the Border Reiver was not ruled by his allegiance to the Crown but by his allegiance to a family surname - whether it was Graham, Elliott, Bell or one of the other Reiver surnames that are still common today.


For over three hundred years, reiving was a way of life with The Border Reivers launching their violent attacks far beyond their home territory.

Reivers Map

With the accession of James I in 1603, law and order returned and the Reivers reign gradually ended. Many of their descendants became pitmen in Northumberland and Durham. Some emigrated to Australia and America. The first man on the moon was an Armstrong, descended from the Reivers of that name.


Are you descended from a famous Border Reiver family? Just click here to see the list of Reiver surnames.


Reivers riding horsesToday, the remains of Reivers’ fortified strongholds bear witness to these troubled times and visitors can explore this fascinating region on The Reivers Trail.


The Border Reivers Trail - -
For more information on Longtown and the surrounding area call 01228 625600