Marauding Ormistons at Smailholme Tower
Marauding Ormistons at Smailholme Tower, Scotland

This morning, we departed our lodgings in Melrose and walked across to Melrose Abbey, a stunning, sandy pink coloured ruin built for Cistercian monks in the 12th century on direction of King David I of Scotland. Following attacks by English troops in the 14th and 16th centuries and culminating in the Reformation of 1560 the building is now a romantic ruin and popular tourist attraction. By chance, we discovered some Ormiston grave stones in the Abbey burial ground: Adam Ormiston and Andrew Ormiston

Melrose Abbey, Borders Region

Melrose Abbey, Borders Region, Scotland

Ormiston Grave Stone, Melrose Abbey

Ormiston Grave Stone, Melrose Abbey, Scotland

Next we moved on to nearby Jedburgh, and another ruined abbey. Jedburgh Abbey was also founded by King David in the 12th century where it housed a community of Augustinian monks. Here can be found some of the finest Romanesque and Gothic architecture in Scotland. Sadly, Jedburgh Abbey suffered a similar fate to that of Melrose, with attacks by English troops culminating in the Reformation. Incredibly, we found yet another Ormiston grave stone here.

Jedburgh Abbey, Borders Region

Jedburgh Abbey, Borders Region, Scotland

Jedburgh Abbey, Borders Region

Jedburgh Abbey, Borders Region, Scotland

Next we visited Smailholm Tower, an evocative structure dating from the 15th century built by the Pringles family. This is a five floor tower house, a high status residence built with defence in mind. Some rebuilding occurred in the 16th century. The battlements on top are accessible and afford outstanding views over the local country side. At Smailholm we encountered some  very curious and friendly cows. Close to Smailholm Tower is Sandyknowe farm.

Sandyknowe Farm from Smailholm Tower

Sandyknowe Farm from Smailholm Tower, Scotland

Smailholme Tower, Borders Region

Smailholme Tower, Borders Region, Scotland

Sandyknowe Farm, Smailholm Tower

Sandyknowe Farm, Smailholm Tower, Scotland

Next we moved on to visit Abbotsford, the former home of famous Scottish romantic novelist, Sir Walter Scott. The main house is undergoing major restoration but we were able to visit the new Visitor Centre (dedicated to Sir Walter Scott) and the colourful and well maintained gardens.

Visitor Centre, Abbotsford House

Visitor Centre, Abbotsford House, Scotland

Garden at Abbotsford

Garden at Abbotsford, Scottish Borders

Abbotsford concluded our touring for the day.We duly returned to Melrose and dinner in the town.

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