Melrose

Melrose , in the county of Roxburgh, thirty-one miles southeast of Edinburgh, is celebrated for the abbey founded by King David in 1136; destroyed by Edward II. in 1322; rebuilt by Bruce in 1326, and partly demolished by the English in 1545. Sir Walter Scott has given it an enduring description in his Lay of the Last Minstrel.

The material of which it is built is a very hard stone, and much of the carving is as perfect as when fresh from the sculptor's hand. Within its walls are the graves of kings, and nobles and priests of the olden time; among them Alexander II. of Scotland, and more than one of the renowned Earls of Douglas. Before the high altar the heart of King Robert Bruce is said to have been deposited. Sir David Brewster's grave is in the churchyard.

Dryburgh Abbey , four miles from Melrose, was founded about the same time as Melrose, and, like that, was destroyed in 1322 by Edward II. Robert I. restored it, at least in part; but it was again destroyed in 1544. St. Mary's aisle, the most beautiful part of the ruins, contains the tomb of Scott, buried here September 26, 1832; also the graves of his wife and his eldest son, and of his son-in-law Lockhart.

Abbotsford , two miles from Melrose, was long the home of the “Great Enchanter of the North.” The author's study is the most interesting room. There the old writing-table, the plain leathern armchair, the reference books, seem to indicate that Sir Walter has but just left them. The Library  (twenty thousand volumes) contains a bust of Scott, by Chantrey, and many miniatures. The roof is of carved oak, designed from models taken from Roslin Chapel. The Drawing-room , where Sir Walter died, and the little octagonal dressing-room contain many precious relics. The Armory  has a fine collection of Scotch weapons.