Melrose, Scottish Borders
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 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 is the birthplace of Rugby Sevens and also has a rugby union team, Melrose RFC. Every year on the second Saturday in April the famous Melrose Sevens are held at the Greenyards and is the biggest annual sporting event held in the town. Rugby union has always been the most popular sport in Melrose.
Melrose Golf Club is a nine-hole golf course situated on the edge of the town at the foot of the Eildon Hills.
Melrose Cricket Club is situated next to Borders General Hospital at Huntlyburn.
Every 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 Primary School (previously named 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, 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
- Ned Haig, butcher and rugby union footballer who founded rugby sevens and the Melrose Sevens
- John Robertson Henderson FRSE FZS FLS, zoologist
- William Kerr, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Keith Robertson, rugby union footballer
- Mark Robertson, son of Keith Robertson; rugby union 7's, 2016 Olympic silver medalist
- Sir Walter Scott, his home Abbotsford House lies a few miles west of the town
- Catherine Helen Spence (1825–1910), Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician and suffragette; born in Melrose, and left for Australia aged fourteen
- Jim Telfer, rugby union footballer and coach
- Sir Adam Ferguson, Army Officer and Deputy Keeper of the Scottish Regalia lived at Huntlyburn House now a wing of the Hospital.
- 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.
- Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Robert Lorimer
- Scottish Regalia
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