Grey College, Durham University, is hosting a public talk on Sunday May 7, about the Border Reivers entitled Border Ballads.

Singer Poppy Holden, whose research at Newcastle University on the living traditions of border ballads is highly regarded nationally, will present the much-anticipated event.

Ms Holden said: “Scottish and English reivers raided the entire Anglo-Scottish border country. They reached Edinburgh in the north and Yorkshire to the south, and they plundered one another regardless of their nationality.

“Northumbrian historian George Trevelyan tells us the border reivers were “cruel, coarse savages … who nonetheless felt the charms of the highest poetry”.”

Ms Holden added: “I’ll share beautiful and magical songs, from a recent field trip in the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys, whose stories date from the 13th century until the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603.”

Professor Alan Martin, President of Grey College Senior Common Room, said: “Despite being located so close to us in Durham, the Border Reivers are little discussed publicly here but, due to demand, we have asked Poppy along because of her authority on the subject.

“We know it will be a riveting and highly informative presentation.”

The talk on Sunday, May 7, at Holgate House, Grey College, South Road, DH1 3LG, begins at 2.15pm and is open to members of the public. Entry is free.

For further details contact Dr. Peter Swift, Vice Master of Grey College, on 0191 334-5630 or 3518.