Jedburgh – gateway to the Scottish Borders

 

The historic royal burgh of Jedburgh is one of the most visited towns in the Scottish Borders.

There is nothing like a great ruin for visitor appeal and Jedburgh’s 12th century Abbey ranks alongside the best of them, providing a breathtaking welcome for those arriving in the town from the south.

Built in 1138 from designs inspired by Europe’s finest churches, Jedburgh Abbey was home to an Augustinian order of monks and served a royal castle located in the town.

As the gateway to the Scottish Borders and greater Scotland, Jedburgh bore the brunt of many unwelcome visits from invading English armies.

During incursions made in the 1540’s Jedburgh was reduced to ruins by Henry the Eighth’s armies, a time that became known as the ‘rough wooing’ and a result of the Scots refusal to ratify the betrothal of the infant Mary Queen of Scots to his son Edward, then at the tender age of seven.

Mary Queen of Scots was later to become permanently linked to the town when she took up residence for a while, using her time to preside at local courts and visit her lover (later husband) the Earl of Bothwell at Hermitage Castle. The house where she stayed in Queen Street is now a museum.

jedburgh abbeyA short walk from the Abbey is Jeburgh Castle and Jail, built in 1820 on the site of a motte and bailey. It was a model prison in its time but a visit to one of the cells tells a different story.

History has produced many heroes from the Scottish Borders and Jeburgh lays claim to one of the most significant. On a wall in the British Legion Club in Jedburgh High Street, neatly positioned between two Victoria Cross memorials, sits a third commemorative display, this one containing a George Cross.

The remarkable story attached to this George Cross, awarded posthumously to First Lieutenant Tony Fasson RN, changed the course of the Second World War.

There much more to this bonny, friendly border town which has some excellent Borders accommodation. Set amid spectacular countryside there plenty for anyone looking for outdoor pursuits such as walking, riding, cycling and golfing.

And for those looking for a convenient stopover Jedburgh’s Camping and Caravanning Club site, a mile outside the town at Elliott Park, is ideal for an overnight stay or as a base to explore the region.

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