Inglestone House and its current custodians
Colin and Lisa Seccombe moved from Bedlington in Northumberland, to take over the running of this lovely Guest House in 2014. Searching for a change of lifestyle they found it in the fine Border town of Kelso; a place they had frequently visited before. Inglestone House is an imposing Grade B listed Georgian property, full of character with original floors and a Chinese Style staircase, in vogue during the 1750’s. The local Listed Buildings officer used the staircase to date the building to between 1750-1755. The building is situated in the very centre of the town and has, over the years changed in its ownership and it’s configuration. Present day townsfolk have told how they visited the ground floor of Inglestone House to see their doctor who lived above the practice in the rest of the big house. One guest even recalled having his tonsils removed in the room where he had just spent the night! A new GP’s surgery was built in the 1970s and a picture of Inglestone House hangs there.
The History of Kelso
Kelso was known as a town of trading which is clear from the street names in the centre of town; Woodmarket, Horsemarket, Coalmarket and Mill Wynd as a few examples. There has been a mill on the Tweed in Kelso since the 12th Century, the present day mill owned by Hogarth’s has been in existence now for over 100 years and this is where we buy oat flakes for your morning porridge. Kelso is still a vibrant and bustling town with an attractive mix of independent shops, cafes and other local businesses.
The earliest recorded history of Kelso was in 1113 when David, Earl of Tweeddale and Northampton, later David I, King of Scotland, brought monks from France to set up a Monastery originally in Selkirk. In 1128 the monks moved to Kelso to set up the abbey which still exists, in part, today.
The earliest inhabitants of the town were thought to have lived in the grounds of what is now Floors castle, an area which was destroyed by fire in 1684.
After the erection of the abbey, a small community began to grow in and around that area due mainly to the wonderful craft work skills of the monks.
In the 18th and 19th centuries larger stately homes were built outside of Kelso for the richer middle class, away from the overcrowded tenements in the main town.
One of Scotland’s most famous literary figures, Sir Walter Scott, has a strong association with Kelso. Sent to the Borders as a child to improve his health, he fell in love with the place later writing “Kelso, the most beautiful if not the most romantic village in Scotland”. Scott became a local hero and a Scottish legend , the world’s biggest selling author of his day. A short distance from Kelso, Scott made his home at Abbotsford, a fascinating place and well worth a visit.
In the 20th century when industry changed to focus more on electronics, an industrial estate was built at Pinnaclehill.
Kelso tourist Attractions
This is the largest inhabited house in Scotland. The original house being quite plain was redesigned in the 1720’s, then again remodelled in 1849 to what we see today. The fabulous golden entrance gates were a gift to the Duke from his wife, the 8th Duchess, as a silver wedding gift in 1929.
Built in 1128 and finally finished in 1243, this was one of the largest and richest abbeys in Scotland. James III (1460)and James IV (1488)were both crowned in the abbey. Unfortunately,by 1550 Henry VIII had reduced all the Border Abbeys to rubble.
Rennie’s Bridge was built in 1800-1803 by John Rennie, to replace the previous bridge that had been washed away by floods in 1797. It was an earlier and smaller scaled example of the Waterloo Bridge built in London.
The Railways station at Maxwellheugh was part of the St Boswell’s to Tweedmouth line. Passenger services stopped on the 13th June 1964 with the freight line ending on 1st April 1968. It is still possible to walk many of the disused lines in and around Kelso. The nearest stations are now at Tweedbank or Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
Originally named Marchidun, it was residence of the Earl of Northumberland in 1107. It was a massive fortress that housed many kings. It changed hands frequently until it was destroyed in 1550. You can still see its remains scattered about the hill top today.
This is the largest market square in Scotland, with an imposing Town Hall and very attractive, continental style architecture. Roxburgh Street, one road leading off from the square, contains an embedded horse shoe that local legend tells us came from the horse ridden by Bonnie Prince Charlie.
In 1645 and then again in 1742 fires raged through the town centre destroying practically everything. Most of the buildings which exist now post-date these fires.
The town hall is the most dominant building, built in 1816. The town hall clock, set in an octagonal tower, is still the talk of many visitors due to its chime at every quarter hour.
In the town square is the bull ring set into the cobbles, where farmers tethered their animals on market days. Kelso’s centre is unique in that it is the only in Scotland having all roads leading off being set with cobbles.
Today local farmers still gather in the square usually on the fourth Saturday of the month to sell their local produce at the Farmer’s Market.
Accreditations and awards
It's February 2020 and everyone is weather watching. Storms Ciara and Dennis bring misery with flooding, travel disruption and (for us) the possibility of cancellations. Despite the awful weather our regular party of friendly fishermen arrive determined to have a good...
Pub walks are fine. We prefer a coffee shop at the end of our labours. Recently we took a trip to Peebles for a fine walk from the town through part of the Glentress forest. We could tell you all about the lovely views etc, etc. However, by far the best part of this...
Visitors to Kelso often comment on the pretty floral displays in the town and those at it's various entrances. What most people don't realise is that the displays are looked after by volunteers. Kelso Horticultural Society and Kelso In Bloom are responsible for...