These roadless hills have always been a refuge for rogues and reivers , a lawless area in times past where cattle-rustlers would hide their stolen beasts in secret clefts and hollows.
Despite a brief revival during the British civil wars, the reivers had disappeared by the end of the 17th century.
Yet, in the absence of the traditional ruling magnates to supervise border rule and defence, the region's precarious peace dissolved into feuds and reiving .
As an aside, I visited Tullie House museum a while ago and the section about the Border reivers is quite fascinating.
The problem fluctuated in intensity, despite the energetic efforts of the new regime to break the reiving clans.
Reiving was not confined to cross boundary targets.
The Pass of Ryvoan in the Cairngorms is both the beginnings and the end of an ancient cattle reivers ' trail.
In the 18th century this route was often used by cattle thieves, or reivers , as they hurried to escape government troops.