Ettrick Shepherd show is moving back to valley

James Hogg Exhibition  at Bowhill.
James Hogg Exhibition at Bowhill.

An exhibition about writer James Hogg i s moving closer to home , finding a location at a closed-down school at the head of the Ettrick Valley.

The display on the Ettrick Shepherd is leaving Bowhill House near Selkirk and will open at Ettrick School next month.

Writer Judy Steel, who researched Hogg’s life and created the exhibition orginally at Aikwood Tower, said in a report, co-written with former Ettrick school secretary Daphne Jackson: “There has always been a strong local feeling that the head of Ettrick was the most appropriate place for this. Although the obelisk at Hogg’s birthplace at Ettrickhall and his grave in Ettrick Kirkyard are nearby, there is no explanation as to why he is one of Scotland’s major literary figures and this focus of interest will inform residents and visitors.

“The professional design and execution of the exhibition will make the head of Ettrick a good destination for visitors to Bowhill, Abbotsford and Traquair, as well as those staying in the Valley.”

They continued: “As well as creating a tourism destination in this remote location, it has solved the problem of how to utilise the school building without prejudicing the use of the nearby hall.”

Lochcarron of Scotland in Selkirk has given support worth more than £2,000, donating and making up fabric for the exhibition.

It’s hoped to include a mock-up of Hogg’s study in the display.

The school will also be home to a creative residency: “It will allow artists to have a base from which to operate; the first artist in residence in Ettrick will be based at the exhibition. It is hoped that this will be the first of many residences,” said the organisers.