View of Melrose from atop tower at Melrose Abbey.

This evening, I am focusing on the town of Melrose in the Scottish Borders.

Melrose has a population of 1600 persons and is located thirty-nine miles south of Edinburgh.

The name is derived from the Brittonic (Welsh) term for ‘bare moor’.

Melrose is usually encountered by tourists in context of tours of (a) the Scottish Borders and (b) the Border Abbeys. Additionally, Abbotsford House, former home of Sir Walter Scott, is nearby.

Video clip of Melrose town centre.

Melrose Abbey

The ruined Abbey is located in centre of the town.

  • It was founded by Cistercian monks in the 12th century under the auspices of King David I.
  • Damaged by English troops in 1322 and 1385.
  • Rendered a ruin by the ‘rough wooing’ policies of England’s King Henry VIII in 1545 with denouement being the Scottish Reformation of 1560.
  • Here, in 1920, was found buried the heart of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland ( 1274-1329).

Melrose Abbey, Scotland.

Other facets and attractions of Melrose and environs:

  • Roman connection: Close by is the Trimontium Roman Fort which was garrisoned until the late 2nd century AD. Allied to this is the Three Hills Roman Heritage Centre in Melrose.
  • Harmony House and Garden: A heritage centre adjacent to the abbey and operated by Scotland’s National Trust.
  • Abbotsford: A mansion and visitor attraction being the former home of famous Scottish romantic novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott.
    Garden at Abbotsford House, Scotland.

Abbotsford House

  • Melrose Rugby Club: A leading rugby union club founded 1877 and home to the ‘Rugby Sevens’.
  • Numerous hotels, guest houses and B&Bs plus restaurants.
  • Melrose is on the line of the Southern Upland Way hiking trail.
  • Proximity to the other Border Abbeys of Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh.
  • Superb landscape views from nearby vantage point known as Scott’s View.

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