Melrose, Scottish Borders

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Melrose
Melrose Town Centre from Quarry Hill - geograph.org.uk - 609004.jpg
Melrose is located in Scottish Borders
Melrose
Melrose
Melrose shown within the Scottish Borders
Population 1,671 (2001)
OS grid reference NT5434
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MELROSE
Postcode district TD6
Dialling code 01896
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
UK
Scotland
55°35′53″N 2°43′52″W / 55.598°N 2.731°W / 55.598; -2.731Coordinates: 55°35′53″N 2°43′52″W / 55.598°N 2.731°W / 55.598; -2.731

Melrose (Scottish Gaelic: Maolros, "bald moor")[1] is a small town and civil parish in the Scottish Borders, historically in Roxburghshire.[2] It is in the Eildon committee area.

Etymology

The town's name is recorded in its earliest form as Mailros, 'the bare peninsula' (Old Welsh or Brythonic), referring to the original site of the monastery, recorded by Bede, in a bend of the river Tweed. The original monastery at Melrose is referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle with the name Magilros.

In the late Middle Ages, when the monastery had been re-founded in its present position, its name was symbolically represented by the visual pun of a mell (mason's hammer) and a rose (symbolising the Virgin Mary, to whom all Cistercian abbeys were dedicated).

Mel & Rose symbols in stonework at Abbey

History

Melrose is the location of Melrose Abbey, re-founded for the Cistercian order by David I in the early 12th century, one of the most beautiful monastic ruins in Great Britain. It is the site of the burial of the heart of Scottish king Robert the Bruce. An excavation was led to find a sealed casket, but it was not opened, and it was actually discovered by high school students involved in the dig. The casket was placed in a sealed lead cylinder, and was then re-buried in the abbey back at its proper resting place. The remains of the Abbey are cared for by Historic Scotland (open all year; entrance charge).

Nearby is the Roman fort of Trimontium, and Dryburgh Abbey. Melrose is surrounded by the small villages of Darnick, Gattonside, Newstead, Lilliesleaf and Bowden.

Sport

Melrose is the birthplace of Rugby Sevens and also has a rugby union team, Melrose RFC. Melrose is an area where rugby union has always been the most popular sport.

Melrose Golf Club is a nine-hole golf course situated on the edge of the town at the foot of the Eildon Hills.

Melrose Cricket Club is situated next to Borders General Hospital at Huntlyburn.

Festivals

Every year in June, the week-long Melrose Festival takes place. This involves appointing a Melrosian who has lived in the town for most of his life; and a queen and her court are appointed from the local primary school, Melrose Primary School (previously named Melrose Grammer School).

Melrose is now host to the annual Borders Book Festival [3] which also takes place during June. The 2005 festival hosted guests including Michael Palin and Germaine Greer; Ian Rankin and Rory Bremner appeared in 2006.

A wall plaque at the Townhouse Hotel in Melrose, Scotland. Spence lived the first 14 years of her life in a building which is now part of the hotel.

Other events

Melrose hosts the annual Eildon Two Hills Race, attracting many runners, and the Melrose Pipe Band Championships, attracting pipers from all over the world.

Notable people

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Gaelic Placenames collected by Iain Mac an Tailleir (2003)
  2. ^ "Database: Melrose". Gaelic Place-names of Scotland. Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.bordersbookfestival.org/

External links

  • Melrose official website
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