Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 40834 5675
340834, 605675


Dating from the earlier 19th century Henderson's Knowe consists of a single-storey former smithy and two, flanking single-storey and attic cottages, each with a gablet dormerhead. The overall height of the building was raised in around 1870. The building is constructed in whinstone rubble with contrasting yellow sandstone, long and short dressings. There are bipartite windows at the ground floor with stone mullions. It is located alongside the A7 between Hawick and Langholm.

The northeast cottage is three bays wide and may have originally been stabling and a loft. There is a later extension at the rear. The former smithy has an enlarged entrance opening with a replacement door and a bipartite lattice-glazed window. To the right of the window is a small brass plaque, dating from 2003, commemorating Tom Jenkins teaching at the smithy between 1814 and 1818. The southwest cottage is four asymmetrical bays wide and has tooled quoins. The window opening in the gablehead has been enlarged.

The interior of the former smithy is currently in use as a retail space. The large raised traditional smithy hearth, curved alcoves in the outer wall (originally housing bellows), and two presses are retained. There is a bench below the front window, closely studded with nail-heads. The smithy has a replacement timber floor.

The windows are a mixture of traditional-style timber in sash and case frames, and uPVC, in various glazing patterns, some of which were made bipartite in around 1950. Later windows have been added in the gable-ends. The roof is slated, has five rooflights of various dates and three ridge chimneystacks. The gable ends have plain bargeboards and carved, projecting purlin ends.

There is a cobbled area in front of the building with a large mill-stone converted to a wheel jig and a stone anvil base set into the cobbles.

Statement of Special Interest

Tom Jenkins (around 1797-1859), possibly Britain's first black school teacher, taught at the former smithy in Teviothead between 1814 and 1818.

Tom Jenkins, born on the Upper Guinea coast in West Africa, arrived in Hawick with Captain James Swanson in 1803 at the age of around six. Swanson died soon afterwards and Tom was looked after by Swanson's relatives in nearby Teviothead. Little is known of his early years however it is believed Tom worked as a cowherd and peat driver, and attended Teviothead school.

When Tom was 17, he had an interview for a teaching job at Teviothead school. He did not get the position, however local supporters of Jenkins, including the Duke of Buccleuch, set up a school at the smithy and employed him to teach.

Tom Jenkins later attended classes at the University of Edinburgh and in June 1818 enrolled onto the teacher training course at Borough Road College in Southwark, London. In 1821 Tom travelled to Mauritius where he became schoolmaster at the first Free School on the island which was set up by the British government.

Listed building record revised in 2019.



Information provided courtesy of the owner (2019).

Casey, P. and Pilgrim T. (2018) The Incredible Tale of Tom Jenkins, Britain's 'first black teacher', at [accessed 29/08/2019].

Chambers, W. and R. (1836) 'Thomas Jenkins' in Exemplary and Instructive Biography: For the Study of Youth. Edinburgh: William and Robert Chambers, pp.271-276.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Henderson’s Knowe (including the old smithy), principal elevation, looking south with Bowan Hill in the background, during daytime, with blue sky and clouds.

Printed: 04/10/2022 23:52