River Sark


River Sark

"Disambiguation: for other meanings, please see Sark (disambiguation)

The River Sark or Sark Water is a river best known for forming part of the western border between Scotland and England. Most of its short length, however, is entirely in Scotland.

It has been made famous, partially by Robert Burns' poem, "Such a parcel of rogues in a nation", which in the first verse says:

:Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,:Fareweel our ancient glory;:Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name,:Sae fam'd in martial story.:Now Sark rins over Solway sands,:An' Tweed rins to the ocean,:To mark where England's province stands-:Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!"

The poem's subject was the alleged sale of Scotland in the Anglo-Scottish Act of Union. The most famous town on the Sark is Gretna Green, best known for its wedding industry. The A74 motorway passes over it.

The area around the Sark was notorious marshy, and sandy, as much of the coast of the north west Irish Sea is. The small section between the lower end of the Sark and the River Esk is known as the "debatable lands", and was formerly a haven for criminals and outlaws who wished to exploit the weakness of the two countries border defences. The boundary between the Sark and the Esk is called the Scots' Dike.

Its name is not connected with "Cutty Sark".


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