Jedburgh Abbey

Jedburgh Abbey

If ancient stone walls could whisper, what tales Jedburgh Abbey could tell.

The magnificent building dominating the Southern approaches to the town has been at the heart of local life for almost 900 years.

Originally home to a highly successful Augustinian monastic order from Beauvais in France, the Abbey was founded by King David I in 1138. Since then Jedburgh Abbey played host to royal gatherings, staged the wedding of King Alexander III of Scotland to Yolande de Dreux, and witnessed the worst excesses of wars and turbulent times between Scotland and England down the centuries.

Reduced to its current imposing shell by destructive raids led by the Earls of Surrey and Hertford in 1523 and 1544 repectively (both acting with the full blessings of Henry VIII) Jedburgh Abbey is now in the care of Historic Scotland and continues to be used for important local ceremonies.

Free Parking is available nearby where a picnic area on the banks of the Jed Water provides a magnificent view of the abbey.


Mary Queen of Scots Visitor Centre

Mary Queen of Scot's House

As epitaphs go, Mary Queen of Scots' - "Would that I had died in Jedburgh" - neatly sums up the despair of a tragic life.

Her story unfolds on several floors at Mary Queen of Scots House, one of Jedburgh's most popular tourist attractions. Exhibits include Mary's death mask, said to have been taken following her execution at Fortheringay Castle in 1587.

Mary came to Jedburgh in 1566 to preside at a Circuit Court and, while resident, took the opportunity to visit the Earl of Bothwell (a future husband) at Hermitage Castle. The gruelling 40-mile ride resulted in her falling victim to a life-threatening fever.

She recovered and recuperated at what is now known as Mary Queen of Scots House, an impressive 16th century building that belonged to the Kerr family who lived in nearby Ferniehurst Castle.

The house is set in pleasant landscaped gardens and entrance is free.


The Capon Tree

Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum

Castle Jail

Jedburgh Castle Jail's distinctive crennelated walls and towers give every appearance of being a model of peaceful solidity.

But its lofty location overlooking the town, on what was once known as Gallows Hill, tells a very different story - of a bloody past and a very spooky present indeed.

The present day building was built in 1820 as a model debtors prison, on the site of the original Jedburgh Castle erected by King David I in the 12th Century. His grandson, King Malcolm IV died there in 1165 at the age of 23.

The prison was mainly used as a debtors jail, but following long-standing tradition, executions continued to take place and criminals where hung on the gallows.

Jedburgh Castle and Jail is reputedly one of the most haunted places in the Borders and its ghostly goings on have hit the headlines more than once. It has featured on national TV where a team carried out investigations into the paranormal; their verdict - a spine chilling experience.

It is regularly booked for ghost hunt nights but during the daytime opening hours Jedburgh Castle and Jail is home to displays charting the town's history and its most famous citizens as well as hosting travelling exhibitions.

The Castle and Jail has limited parking and entrance is free.


Max Nowell Sculpture

Max Nowell Sculpture

Stone Sculpture by Max Nowell at Lothian Park

...By walking South along the A68 Newcastle Road or through Lothian Park, you arrive at a place called Inchbonny where you will find "Hutton's Unconformity". This is one of the most important geological sites in the world.

James Hutton, a farmer and doctor from Duns in Berwickshire, conceived a theory about the formation of the Earth based upon what he saw in the geological formation of the ground on Arran, at Siccar Point on the Berwickshire coast and here at Inchbonny. Whilst visiting Allar's Mill on the Jed Water, Hutton was delighted to see horizontal bands of red sandstone lying 'unconformably' on top of near vertical and folded bands of rock. He published his "Theory of the Earth" in 1788 and has since become known as the 'founding father' of modern geology.