Tour group at Castleton Cemetery with family gravemarker.

This morning, July 10th., we commenced our tour in Edinburgh New Town where tour group was collected from lodgings.

Next, we drove south to Melrose, a small town in the Scottish Borders region which is famous for its ruined medieval abbey.

History of Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey, Scotland

The founding of Melrose Abbey on its current site (superseding a previous building located about two miles away) was inspired by King David I of Scotland in 1136 AD. The Abbey was built by a group of Cistercian Monks from Rievaulx Abbey  in Yorkshire, England. Construction is believed to have taken ten years.

Because the Abbey enjoyed Royal favour it continued to flourish despite suffering damage in the Anglo-Scottish wars and being rebuilt in the 15th century. It fell into ruin after being ravaged by English soldiers and Scots Protestants. The last monk died in 1590.The Abbey is noteworthy for:

  • Quality of the stone carvings which include an unusual effigy of a pig playing the bagpipes.
  • Burial place of the heart of King Robert the Bruce.


After spending about one hour at the Abbey we moved further south to Newcastleton, (pop about 800) a village just inside the Scottish border. Here, we had lunch and then visited sites connected with the tour group’s ancestry (Manderson and Blacklock), namely Castleton cemetery and Lee Haugh Cottage.

War Mememorial at Newcastleton..

Hermitage Street, Newcastleton.

Douglas Square, Newcastleton, Scotland.

Video clip of Manderson and Blacklock grave-marker.

Castleton Cemetery, Newcastleton, Scotland.

Lee Haugh Cottage, Newcastleton.

Finally, we retired to our lodgings for the night at locations at/near Kelso.

The Square, Kelso, Scotland

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