On The Border

Last weekend we spent a couple of days exploring the Scottish Borders, an area rich in ancient ruins.

But our first stop wasn't a ruin. We revisited Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, which we first discovered a couple of years ago. The setting on the banks of the River Tweed near Galashiels is charming and you really can imagine him at his desk, writing his romantic tales.
The galleried bookcases in Sir Walter Scott's study
More books in the library
The gardens were full of colour

 From Abbotsford we followed the Tweed valley to Melrose Abbey, a Cicerstian abbey dating from 1146.

It's hard to imagine that this feat of engineering was built in the 12th century

Melrose Abbey is noted for the beauty of its carved work and its ornaments

Although ruined, parts of the abbey are largely intact
Next on our tour was Dryburgh. We stayed overnight at the lovely Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, on the banks of the Tweed. We were upgraded to a suite which was a nice bonus!
Dryburgh Abbey Hotel

The view from our window, towards the fast-flowing River Tweed

The following morning, after a fine Scottish breakfast, we enjoyed walking around Dryburgh Abbey. Unlike Melrose, which was founded by French monks, Dryburgh is of the Premonstratensian Order and was was founded by monks originally from Xanten in Germany.
Dryburgh's remains are more fragmented

The detailed ornaments were clearly a favourite with local stonemasons

Who knows how this delicate window survived?

An ornate archway

After Dryburgh we followed the river a few more miles to Kelso Abbey, founded in the 12th century by monks of the Tironensian Order. A town grew up around the abbey so this is very different from the other abbeys' peaceful settings.
Only the west tower remains of Kelso's once magnificent abbey

Despite the abbey's importance, the stonework is relatively crude

Finally, and by now well into the afternoon, we left the Tweed valley and visited Jedburgh Abbey. Also established in the 12th century, this is of the Augustinian Order.
Jedburgh Abbey
As with many of the nearby abbeys, the stonework is delicate

The view down the long nave

More delicate stonemasonry

The abbey and its extensive grounds look down on the town of Jedburgh
And so, having more than satisfied our Ruin Lust, we headed back across the border and the short journey south to home.