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Kelso Scottish Borders

1914-18 War Memorial
(Designed by Sir Robert Lorimer)

The River Teviot

History of Kelso Scotland

Around the Town

Being a town of trades and selling throughout its history, it is little wonder that the street names allude to that. Woodmarket, Coalmarket, Peat Wynd, Horsemarket, Oven Wynd, Mill Wynd, Distillery Lane all give obvious clues to the past.

Early History

The earliest recorded history of Kelso comes in 1113 when David, Earl of Tweeddale and Northampton, later David I, King of Scotland, brought a group of monks from Tiron in France to set up a monastery at Selkirk.

Floors Castle

Clearly visible from Kelso Bridge, looking upstream, is Floors Castle - the largest inhabited house in Scotland.

Kelso Abbey

Built in 1128 and the years following, Kelso Abbey was one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture.

Kelso Bridges

The present bridge, known as Rennie's Bridge, was built in 1800-3 to replace the one washed away in the floods of 1797.

Kelso Railway Station

Kelso Railway Station, at Maxwellheugh, lay on the St Boswells to Tweedmouth line. Passenger services on the line ceased on 13th June 1964.

Kelso Square

Most of the present town centre is Georgian or Victorian in appearance, with the Square, the largest Market Square in Scotland the hub of the town.


Outside the castle walls grew up the Town of Roxburgh, which was one of the most important towns in its time.

Roxburgh Castle

Roxburgh Castle, then known as Marchidun, is first recorded as the residence of the Earl of Northumberland in 1107.

War Memorial

Next to the abbey, and in front of the memorial Cloister to the 8th Duke of Roxburgh, is the Kelso War Memorial, erected in 1921.

Kelso Scotland, Scottish Borders UK