Melrose, Scottish Borders
|Scottish Gaelic: Maolros|
Melrose shown within the Scottish Borders
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||Scottish Borders|
|Lieutenancy area||Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk|
|Scottish Parliament||Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire|
The town's name is recorded in its earliest form as Mailros, 'the bare peninsula' (Old Welsh or Brythonic), referring to the original site of the monastery, recorded by the Venerable Bede, in a bend of the river Tweed. The original monastery at Melrose is referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle with the name Magilros.
In the late Middle Ages, when the monastery had been re-founded in its present position, its name was symbolically represented by the visual pun of a mell (mason's hammer) and a rose (symbolising the Virgin Mary, to whom all Cistercian abbeys were dedicated).
Melrose is the location of Melrose Abbey, re-founded for the Cistercian order by David I in the early 12th century, one of the most beautiful monastic ruins in Great Britain. It is the site of the burial of the heart of Scottish king Robert the Bruce. An excavation was led to find a sealed casket, but it was not opened, and it was actually discovered by high school students involved in the dig. The casket was placed in a sealed lead cylinder, and was then re-buried in the abbey back at its proper resting place. The remains of the Abbey are cared for by Historic Scotland (open all year; entrance charge).
Melrose Golf Club is a nine hole golf course situated on the edge of the town at the foot of the Eildon Hills.
Every year in June, the week-long Melrose Festival takes place. This involves appointing a Melrosian who has lived in the town for most of his life; and a queen and her court are appointed from the local primary school, Melrose Grammar School.
Melrose is now host to the annual Borders Book Festival which also takes place during June. The 2005 festival hosted guests including Michael Palin and Germaine Greer; Ian Rankin and Rory Bremner appeared in 2006.
Melrose hosts the annual Eildon Two Hills Race, attracting many runners, and the Melrose Pipe Band Championships, attracting pipers from all over the world.
- King Arthur is supposedly buried in the Eildon Hills, which overlook the town
- James Blair, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Craig Chalmers, rugby union footballer, capped 60 times for Scotland
- William Kerr, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Keith Robertson (rugby union), rugby union footballer
- Sir Walter Scott's home Abbotsford House, lies a few miles west of the town
- Catherine Helen Spence (1825–1910), Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician and suffragette was born in Melrose, and left for Australia aged fourteen
- Jim Telfer, rugby union footballer and coach
Captain Eric Melrose "Winkle" Brown RN lived in Melrose Eric Brown (pilot)#Early life
- Borders General Hospital
- Harmony Garden, a National Trust for Scotland garden in Melrose
- Priorwood Garden, also NTS
- List of places in the Scottish Borders
- List of places in Scotland
- Gaelic Placenames collected by Iain Mac an Tailleir (2003)
- "Database: Melrose". Gaelic Place-names of Scotland. Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
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