Roxburgh Street

History & Heritage
Along Roxburgh Street there are several opportunities to take a short walk down to the Cobby Riverside Walk

About Roxburgh Street

Along Roxburgh Street there are several opportunities to leave the Trail by taking a short walk down to the Cobby Riverside Walk, from where a view of Floors Castle can be gained. This popular walk along the side of the River Tweed is part of the flood plain. Please note there is no formal path and the riverside may be muddy at times.
The height of the garden walls gives an indication of how severe the flooding can be as they are designed to hold back the river when it floods. You can see the islet called Kelso Anna and the Old Mill Weir. Over the River is Springwood Park, the former grounds of Springwood Park House, which was demolished in 1954. The park now serves as the Border Union Showground for various shows such as the internationally renowned Kelso Ram Sales in September of each year.
At the end of the Cobby are what remains of the foundations of the water mill which was associated with the Abbey. The water mill would have been constructed shortly after the foundation of the Abbey in order to supply it with ground flour. Frequent repairs and maintenance must have been required to mend the damage caused by the Tweed flooding. The site is now occupied by Hogarth's Mill. which dates from the early 19th century.
The Cobby is another area where it is worth looking out for wildlife. On the water there are normally a variety of ducks, including Tufted and Goosanders, as well as Mute Swans, Moorhens and Coots. A Heron often sits on the island where Grey Wagtails are also a common sight.
On your right, near the head of Roxburgh Street, set back slightly from the street and behind a high wall, is Walton Hall. This building was built in 1820 as a fishing lodge for John Ballantyne, Sir Walter Scott's publisher. It is a single storey Georgian house with associated stable buildings and is said to have been built with the money made from publishing Scott's works. Unfortunately, Ballantyne died within a year of it being completed and was unable to enjoy the building to its full potential.
Most of the buildings on the left-hand side of the street are modern but they do not appear to be out of character with the rest of the street.
The righthand (west) side of the street is older and most of these properties date from the late 18th and early 19th century. There is the Kelso Dispensary (a form of hospital) which was established in 1777 after a suggestion by Mrs Baillie of Jerviswood “for the relief of the diseased among the lower orders of people...on both sides of the border". This was the first such building in Scotland. By 1793 there was “a spacious ward, to accommodate 12 patients". The Dispensary closed in 1906 when the Cottage Hospital was built at Maxwellheugh.
You will find several fine detached Victorian mansions that have a magnificent view over the confluence of the Rivers Tweed and Teviot and of the countryside beyond. Continuing along Roxburgh Street brings you to Kelso North Church with its impressive pinnacled spire. The church was built between 1864-6 as the Free Church to the designs of thearchitect Frederick Pilkington.

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