Visit Melrose and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Melrose, Scottish Borders. The Cistercian Abbey of Melrose was founded by David I in 1136. At Old Melrose there had been a monastery as early as the mid-7th century, inhabited by monks who came from Iona via Lindisfarne, but it was a bare promontory on the nearby Tweed and regarded as inadequate for Cistercians, though the church continued into the 13th century.
Melrose suffered badly in the War of Independence in 1322, and at the hands of Richard II in 1385. Finally it was much reduced in 1544 by the Earl of Hertford. The remains, however, are mainly of the 15th century, including some of the finest decorative work and figure sculpture in Scotland.
Alas, the endemic Scottish failing of wanton rather than deliberate iconoclasm played further havoc. In 1568 the Abbey fell into the hands of the Douglas family, who used some of the stones from it to build a private house at the end of the cloisters. At length, however, it was repaired under the superintendence of Sir Walter Scott in 1822, and at the expense of the Duke of Buccleuch, who gave it to the nation. The heart of Bruce, brought back from its abortive journey to the Holy Land is said to be buried here. There was an odd confirmation of this (not made public) during some excavations in the 1920s.
The town originated from a small village called Fordel, but it achieved status as a town under the Abbey. In 1609 all the land became a temporal lordship. The mercat cross is dated 1642. Since Sir Walter Scott, Melrose has become a tourist centre for the surrounding Scott and Border country.
Darnick Tower on the outskirts of Melrose was until recently inhabited by the family of Heiton; the tower was built by them in 1425.
Nearby towns: Earlston, Galashiels, Jedburgh, Kelso, Lauder, Selkirk
Nearby villages: Ancrum, Ashkirk, Clovenfords, Denholm, Dryburgh, Ettrickbridge, Lilliesleaf, Newstead, Newtown St. Boswells, Roxburgh, St Boswells, Stow, Tweedbank
Have you decided to visit Melrose or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Melrose bed and breakfast (a Melrose B&B or Melrose b and b)
- a Melrose guesthouse
- a Melrose hotel (or motel)
- a Melrose self-catering establishment, or
- other Melrose accommodation