Yes, It Is A Very Odd Name | Urban Reivers Blog

Urban Reivers Is A Very Odd Name

Few people outside Scotland (and actually, not all that many inside Scotland) know about the Border Reivers. They were loosely formed bands of raiders that inhabited the Borderlands of Scotland and England between the 14th and 17th centuries. The Reivers were violent, wicked men (mostly men) but folk legends have grown up around them. The Scottish Borders had it rough during this period – Scotland and England were often at war and it was difficult to farm because of troop movements and incessant battles, so the locals raided cattle where they could. There was no Scottish/English bias in this – they’d just team up at will, hop on a horse and steal livestock. And so the name was born, the modern Scottish raiders were to be Urban Reivers.

print of reivers crossing a river
The Border Reivers at Gilnockie Tower, from a 19th-century print

Scotland is both urban and rural and we liked the juxtaposition of the words Urban and Reivers. Since then we’ve realised how little the reivers are known and that’s provided another reason for taking their name. After all, Urban Reivers, as a project is about connecting with Scottish history – the real deal – so if the name makes people ask a question or two, it’s no bad thing. However we have had some interesting requests about Scottish weaving and inner city book clubs…


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Yes, It Is A Very Odd Name | Urban Reivers Blog

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