The Scottish Borders have been subjected to some exceptionally turbulent periods. This is in a large part due to its location, and the relationship with her bordering English neighbour. Long-held hostilities and rivalries were felt on a daily basis during the years of the Border Reivers, whereby marauding gangs of kinsmen would plunder their enemy's property and steal livestock. The countryside is peppered with the fortified tower-houses that families build in order to protect themselves. The beauty of the landscape, however, goes some way to concealing this terrible past. It is the land that later inspired the romantic writings of Sir Walter Scott, and fired the imagination of James Hogg, known as The Ettrick Shepherd'. The large towns of Melrose, Jedburgh and Kelso all disclose their past in the remains of their impressive Abbeys. The town of Galashiels is among the largest in the region, and is famous as a centre for textile weaving. The earliest recording of a mill in the town can be traced back to 1585.