Visit Earlston and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Earlston, Scottish Borders. On the Leader Water in the Lauderdale valley, Earlston was once known as Ercildoune. To the South of the town stand the ivy-covered remains of the Rhymer's Tower, traditionally associated with the l3th-century poet and prophet Thomas the Rhymer, Sir Thomas Learmount, also known as Thomas of Ercildoune, Thomas Rimour, and True Thomas. Thomas the Rhymer lived all his life in Earlston — apart from the seven years he tarried in Elfland with the Queen of the Faeries. There are many legends about his prophecies, examples being the succession of Robert Bruce, the death of Alexander III suddenly on Kinghorn cliffs, the union of Britain under one of Bruce's blood, and the famous “'Tide, 'tide, whate'er betide, there'll aye be Haigs of Bemersyde», which has held good despite many vicissitudes. The Russian poet Lermontoy (1814—41) claimed descent from Thomas the Rhymer. The Edinburgh Borderers' Association purchased the Rhymer's Tower in 1895, and placed a tablet on it; a National Trust examination, however, concluded that the structure was post-l3th century.
Built into the parish church is a small stone, which came from a former church and is now restored, with the lettering “Auld Rymr Race Lyees In This Place”. The present building was erected in 1892 by Dr William Mair, minister for thirty-four years in Earlston, Assembly Moderator in 1897, and writer of Mair's Digest of Church Law. In the church tower is a bell cast by Jan Burgerhuys of Middleburg in 1609. Among many quaint tombstones in the churchyard is one saying simply:
Time how short
Eternity how long.
Earlston is a comparatively busy modern town, with sawmills, tweed and gingham mills, and quarrying. The town square was planted with a rose garden in 1953 to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. A drinking fountain is set in a wall as a memorial to John Young, a celebrated local doctor for fifty years.
Some 3 miles North East in the hills is the village of Legerwood, with its famous church, which has a fine Norman chancel arch and chancel. It was preserved by the Ker family's blocking up this part of the building, and was not revealed again until 1898, but is now fully restored. On the East wall of the chancel is the 17th-century Ker Monument to the memory of John Ker of Moristoun and his wife Grizell Cochrane. She saved the life of her father, Sir John Cochrane of Ochiltree, during the political troubles of 1685, by twice waylaying the messenger bearing a warrant for his execution, until a third warrant was changed by the king to a pardon, and Sir John was saved. Just North East of the church are the remains of Corsbie Peel Tower. The ruins of Whitslaid Tower are also nearby in a strong site beside the Leader.
Nearby towns: Galashiels, Greenlaw, Jedburgh, Kelso, , Melrose
Nearby villages: Ancrum, Clovenfords, Dryburgh, Lilliesleaf, Newstead, Newtown St. Boswells, Oxton, Roxburgh, Selkirk, St Boswells, Stichill, Stow, Tweedbank
Have you decided to visit Earlston or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Earlston bed and breakfast (a Earlston B&B or Earlston b and b)
- a Earlston guesthouse
- a Earlston hotel (or motel)
- a Earlston self-catering establishment, or
- other Earlston accommodation