Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Melrose




High Street

Melrose is a small attractive market town in the Scottish Borders. It can be reached via the A68 and is only 14 miles form the neighbouring border town of Kelso. In addition to lying peacefully on the banks of the River Tweed and in the shadow of the Eildon Hills, Melrose is home to the impressive Melrose Abbey and Leaderfoot Viaduct.


High Street and Eildon Hills


The Eildon Hills provide a dramatic backdrop to the attractive town centre adding to its sleepy charm. Only a short walk from the high street are the substantial ruins of Melrose Abbey.


Melrose Abbey



Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey was founded in 1136 by King David I of Scotland and the Cistercian Monks. It was the first Cictercian abbey in Scotland. In 1322 a large part of the abbey was destroyed after an attack by the army of Edward II. Although it was rebuilt it suffered a further attack by the army of Richard II in 1385 when it was burned. Over the next 100 years it was again rebuilt. In 1544 its was again badly damaged by english armies. It was never fully repaired and the last monk died in 1590.
It is thought that the heart of Robert the Bruce is buried in the abbey.


Leaderfoot Viaduct


Leaderfoot Viaduct

The Leaderfoot Viaduct is also known as the Drygrange Viaduct. It is a magnificent Viaduct which was opened in 1863 and carried the Berwickshire Railway over the River Tweed. Unfortunately due to severe damage from flooding the railway closed to passenger trains in 1948 and to freight trains in 1965. It was renovated in the 1990's and although no longer in use it still stands proudly over the river.


Close to the viaduct is the Drygrange Old Bridge, which dates back to the 1770's. Although it no longer carries traffic, pedestrians and cyclists are allowed to cross freely.


Drygrange Old Bridge

The viaduct can be reached either by a pleasant walk from Melrose, or by turning off the A68 to a designated viewing point. This is an ideal spot to admire the beauty of the viaduct and take some photographs. The footpath to Melrose is ideal for both walkers and cyclists and takes you through the village of Newstead. Before reaching Newstead you will reach the site of the old roman fort, known as Trimontium, which lies in the shadow of the Eildon Hills. Although there are no remains to view a monument marks the site.


Site of Trimontium

Chain Bridge



Chain Bridge over the River Tweed

The River Tweed is a short walk from Melrose Abbey, in the opposite direction to the town centre. It a tranquil place to relax and enjoy the river as it winds its way away from the town and under the chain bridge. This suspension bridge was opened in 1826 and crosses the river to the village of Gattonside. There are a number of walks that can be taken on both sides of the river.


Cycling
There are many cycling routes around Melrose including a circular cycle from the Leaderfoot Viaduct to the Chain Bridge



Places to visit nearby include, Jedburgh AbbeyDryburgh Abbey, Smailholm Tower, Rhymers Tower, Greenknowe Tower, Scott's View, The William Wallace Statue, Kelso Abbey and Floors Castle.

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