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The four ABBEYS of Dryburgh, Jedburgh, Kelso and Melrose were founded by King David ! of Scotland in the 12th century. Up to the mid sixteenth century, they suffered repeatedly from attack during the course of the many English invasions
ABBOTSFORD - the home of Sir Walter Scott, (1771-1832), historical novelist and poet, regarded in his lifetime as the most renowned world-wide writer of his day. Scott built Abbotsford on the banks of the River Tweed, near Melrose in 1822. You can still see today his library of over 9000 volumes, his writing desk and his treasure trove of Scottish artifacts and history. Last year a new visitor centre, telling the story of his life, was opened by the Queen
|Gilnockie Tower, the Armstrong stronghold|
In 1530 Johnnie Armstrong, infamous as a Border reiver (raider), was persuaded by a royal writ of safe passage, to meet James V at Caerlanrig, south of Hawick. But Johnnie was seized and hanged along with many of his supporters. A memorial to Armstrong and his men stands in the Caerlanrig chapel graveyard.
The murder inspired the Border ballad "Johnnie Armstrong" whose evocative last verse told:
The trees on which the Armstrangs deed [died]
Wi' summer leaves were gay,
But lang afore the harvest tide
They wither'd a' away.
In 1972,Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, visited Langholm, near Gilnockie Tower, to become the town's first and only Freeman. The Tower now holds the biggest archive of Armstrong history in the world
Some more fascinating facts on the Scottish Borders:
- A royal wedding took place at Jedburgh Abbey in 1285 when King ALEXANDER III married there his second wife,Yolande de Dreux. Alexander died a year later after falling off his horse in the dark and his only surviving heir, granddaughter Margaret "The Maid of Norway" died at sea in 1290, on her way to claim the throne - events which sparked a long period of instability and warfare in Scotland with competing claims to the Scottish throne.
- John AINSLIE (1745-1828) was born and buried in Jedburgh Abbey. He has been de3scribed as Scotland's greatest cartographer, both for the quality and quantity of his work. His outstanding achievements include the 1789 map of Scotland, which was the first to show the Scottish coastline with any accuracy.
The Scottish Borders
The old counties of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshire & Selkirkshire