Denholm is a Conservation Area listed as 'a planned village as opposed to the traditional unplanned or organic form of village usually found in Roxburghshire.'
The village is built around the Green, which in days gone by was let for grazing to the butchers or smallholders. In the middle of the Green stands Leyden's Monument which was erected in 1861. The Green has always been at the heart of village life. Weekly and half-weekly fairs used to be held here. Part of the base of an old mercat cross can still be seen inside the railings surrounding the monument. The cross itself was removed and the base hollowed out sometime in the 19th century to make a water trough for cattle!
John Leyden was born in 1775 in a cottage on the north side of the Green. His father, a shepherd, was descended from a servant from the university town of Leiden in Holland brought back to Scotland in the 16th century by one of the Douglas family who had studied there.
Even as a boy he had a great appetite for learning. At fifteen he set off for Edinburgh University, making most of the journey on foot. He qualified as both a Doctor and a Minister. Whilst there he collaborated with Sir Walter Scott in collecting ballads for the "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders". His interest in travelling led him to take up a medical appointment in India, where he mastered many oriental languages. Leyden died in Java at the early age of 36.