The headwaters of the Whiteadder (May 2006)
|Country||England and Scotland, UK|
|Region||East Lothian, Berwickshire and Northumberland|
|Mouth||Confluence with the River Tweed|
Whiteadder Water // is a river in East Lothian and Berwickshire, Scotland. It also flows for a very short distance through Northumberland before joining the River Tweed. In common with the headwaters of the Biel Water it rises on the low hillside of Clints Dod (122 m or 400 ft) in the Lammermuir Hills, just ESE of Whitecastle Hillfort and 3 km (1.9 mi) south-east of the village of Garvald.
Adder may be derived from Brittonic *ador, *edir or Old English edre, possible ancient hydronymic terms derived from an Indo-European formation meaning "a watercourse, a channel" (compare River Etherow). The possibility of the name deriving from Old English ǣdre, "a vein" (Anglian ēdre), or *ǣdre, meaning "quickly" is objected on the grounds that these would have maintained the long initial vowel in English and Scots.
The stream wends its way south east for approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) where it joins with the Faseny Water to form the Whiteadder Reservoir created in 1968, which supplies most of the towns of East Lothian (including Cockenzie power station) and Berwickshire, with water.
By this point having become a much larger body of flow, the Whiteadder meanders across Eastern parts of the Merse passing the communities of Preston, Chirnside, Allanton. Here at Allanton the Whiteadder joins with its antonymic counterpart the Blackadder Water. The river proceeds by Foulden, Edrington, and Paxton, it crosses into England, before joining the River Tweed, just north of East Ord, a suburb of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
For those with fishing permits, the Whiteadder provides recreational salmon and trout fishing. There are a number of angling clubs offering affordable access to this lovely river including the Whiteadder Angling Association (trout) and Berwick and District Angling Association (salmon, sea trout and wild brown trout). The Whiteadder is the home of the oldest Angling Club in the world verified by the Guinness Book of Records, Ellem Angling Club, established in 1829. Membership is by invitation only. The regalia of the club is on display at Paxton House in Berwickshire. It is also the site of Ninewells, the childhood home of David Hume.
- "Whiteadder". Forvo. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
- James, Alan G. "A Guide to the Place-Name Evidence - Guide to the Elements" (PDF). Scottish Place Name Society - The Brittonic Language in the Old North. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
- Johnston, James B (1892). Place-names of Scotland. Edinburgh, Scotland: D Douglas. p. 162. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- "David Hume - Life and Works". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
Born in Edinburgh, Hume spent his childhood at Ninewells, the family's modest estate on the Whitadder River in the border lowlands near Berwick.