40 km south of Alexandra, Roxburgh is at the junction of the Teviot and Clutha rivers. Finds of gold on the Teviot in 1862 by Andrew Young and James Woodhouse gave the township its start. Roxburgh was a major centre of gold dredging at the end of the 19th century. The Ladysmith dredge, named after the South African war siege of the British stronghold of Ladysmith, operated for some years on the east bank of the river. The sluicing channels made by miners were later used for irrigation, allowing orcharding to develop at the start of the 20th century.

Meaning of place name
The town takes its name from a Scottish border town, and its streets are also named for border localities.

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