Jedburgh Tourist Attractions
The fine three-arched Canongate Bridge crosses the River Jed in the heart of this pretty little town (pop. 4,100) some 10mi/16km north of the border. It was the weavers of Jedburgh who used two different yarns to create the original "Tweedy" look, a style that was soon copied by other spinning mills in the vicinity. Knitwear and textiles production remain important aspects of the local economy.
Ferniehirst Castle is a typical example of a Borders fortress. It is situated 1.5mi/2.4km south of Jedburgh and is the seat of the Kerr family. A few years ago the 16th century castle, fortified with small round towers, was fully restored. Information about the changing fortunes of the Borders country is available in the 17th C stables.
Kirkwall is the only other place in Scotland where people still play this ancient team game which requires more than 200 participants. In Jedburgh the game serves as a reminder to the residents of their bloody conflicts with their southern neighbors. The "Uppies", who live above the Mercat Cross compete against the "Downies" from below the cross. Starting on Castlehill, the winning team is the first to convey the small, straw-filled leather ball, symbolizing the head of an Englishman, through the lanes, front gardens and backyards of Jedburgh to the end of High Street.
The principal sight in Jedburgh is the ruined abbey. It is one of the four main Border abbeys which were founded around 1118 and then destroyed by the English in 1544. Two Norman arches and the west front with its magnificent rose window, the "St Catherine's Wheel", are the highlights of this sandstone church that stands on the crest of a hill looking south towards England. The arcades in the three-story main nave and the window tracery are also worth a look. Excavations to the south side have unearthed a part of the monastery site, while the Visitor Center has an exhibition explaining the day-to-day life of the monks.
Address: Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Jedburgh TD8 6JQ, Scotland
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Sep 30: 9:30am-5:30pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 9:30am-4:30pm
Oct 1 to Mar 31: 9:30am-4:30pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee in GBP: Adult £5.50, Concession or reduced rate £4.40, Child £3.30
Mary Queen of Scots House
In 1987, to mark the death 400 years earlier of Mary Stuart, the T-shaped tower house was opened as a museum. It details the tragic fate of the Queen of Scots. Here on November 9, 1566, she received news that her lover, the Earl of Bothwell, was lying with gunshot wounds in Hermitage Castle. After a day's ride to see the Earl, she returned exhausted and had to stay in Jedburgh for a month to recuperate from fever.
Address: Queen Street, Jedburgh TD8 6EW, Scotland
Opening hours: Mar 1 to Nov 30: 10am-4:30pm; Sun: 11am-4:30pm
Entrance fee: FREE
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop
Typical Visit: 1 hour
Queen of Scots Castle Jail
In 1823 the medieval fortress was turned into a prison and it now houses a museum.
Ferniehirst Mill Lodge
The lodge caters to experienced adult riders, offering day-long rides or short holidays. Rides are scheduled over the Chaviot Hills. The lodge is certified by the Association of British Riding School, the British Horse Society and the Trekking and Riding Society of Scotland.
Follow the A68 north out of Jedburgh to Dryburgh Abbey (8mi/13km) which lies among old trees by the banks of the Tweed. The monastery was founded in 1150 by Hugh de Morville for monks of the Premonstratensian order. Thanks to donations and hard work by the monks, the monastery soon became a prosperous center and wielded considerable influence. During the 14th century it was repeatedly plundered by the English and was finally destroyed in 1544. Little remains of the Gothic abbey, but of particular interest are the marvelous west portal, the rose window at the west end of the refectory, the chapterhouse and St Modan's chapel - St Modan, it is said, was the abbot of a monastery that stood on this spot in the sixth century. In a granite sarcophagus designed by Chantrey and situated in the northern transept lies the body of Sir Walter Scott. For him Dryburgh Abbey was the "most romantic ruin".