Borders: About 5 miles south of Duns, 0.25 miles east of Leitholm village, on minor road just north of B6461, at Bughtrig House and gardens.
Private NT 797447 OS: 74 TD12 4JP
Site of tower or old house. The place is marked as ‘Bochtridge’ on Gordon's map of the Merse, then as ‘Buchtrig’ on Blaeu’s map, then as ‘Boughtrig’ on Roy's map.
Set in landscaped grounds, Bughtrig House, a three-storey classical mansion with lower wings and dating from 1785 with later work, may stand on the site of the tower. The house was
remodelled and extended in the late 19th century.
The property was held by the Dicksons in the 16th and 17th centuries. Robert Dickson of Bughtrig was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, and the tower may have been burned by the English in 1544. Robert Dickson of Bughtrig is on record in the 1640s, and then he or another Robert in 1660s, while George Dickson of Bughtrig is mentioned in the 1670s. He got into finiacial difficulties and was declared bankrupt and the lands were sold.
The property went to the Franks, and John Frank of Bughtrig is mentioned in 1692. William Frank of Bughtrig married his maidservant Isobel Trotter in 1747 or 48, and he was succeeded by their sons Charles and James. They appear to have still been in possession in 1812.
The property was sold to John Corse of Bughtrig, an eminent surgeon in India and an author. He added Scott to his name when he married the heiress Catherine Scott of Sinton. He died in 1840.
The lands, along with Chatto, were purchased by Walter Dickson early in the 19th century, though the house appears to then have had tenants. The Dicksons of Chatto held Bughtrig into the 20th century.
The property passed to the May family, and Sir William May of Bughtrig was an Admiral of the Fleet and died in 1930.
Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay bought Bughtrig in 1938. He commanded a destroyer HMS Broke during World War I. He came out of retirement at the outbreak of World War II and played a pivotal role in the Allied victory. Among other operations, he co-ordinated the rescue of British and allied troops from Dunkirk in 1940 (Operation Dynamo), then went on to be one of the planners for D-Day in 1944. He was killed in an aircrash near Paris in early 1945, and there is a statue of him in the grounds of Dover Castle. His son was Major General Charles Ramsay of Bughtrig, who died in 2017. He became a member of the the Royal Company of Archers (the monarch's ceremonial bodyguard in Scotland), and directed the Tattoo in Edinburgh.
The house had been recently renovated and is still occupied by the Ramsays, and there are plans for a museum about Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay in a former garden store at the house.
There are two acres of gardens, including a fine formal garden with many herbaceous plants, roses, shrubs, annuals fruit, vegetables and a tree nursery.
There is another property called Bughtrig, in Hownam parish, near Jedburgh, which was held by the Kerrs in the middle of the 18th century.