Former Railway Station
The first talk of a "railway" through Melrose was in 1810 when the ground between Glasgow and Berwick was surveyed. It was 39 years before the railway - in the form of a line from Edinburgh to Hawick - came to Melrose and the station opened as a two platform "through station". This is an impressive and elegant building. From the town side, it appears like a Jacobean house and has a shapely gable and tall octagonal chimneys. A product of the age when travelling by train was commonplace, those travelling from Melrose must have felt they were entering a stately home as they approached the porch. Climb the stairs to the platform. Those with wheelchairs and prams can gain access via the sloped path at the end of the building.
Arriving by train was also a visual experience, as can be seen from the platform side. The high sweep of the awning, the cast iron columns and detailed woodwork enhance the building. This platform canopy was once mirrored on the other side of the track. The railway which once brought visitors and commerce to Melrose, was removed at the end of the 1960s, a victim of the savage cuts in railway services throughout the country. Fortunately the station building remains and now houses a restaurant and small businesses. Walk westwards along the path beside the roadway that follows the route of the railway. Each spring, daffodils bloom along this stretch of road and is called The Field of Hope. This colourful display is in aid of the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity.
After about 500 metres, turn right into Huntly Road. On the right is Melrose Grammar School, the town's primary school and on the left is Weirhill Cemetery. At the end of Huntly Road, turn left into High Cross Avenue.
It was in this area of the town, Weirhill, that food markets were once held. A case was taken to court in August 1616 against a group of men from Melrose that "...insolently destroyed ..." two full barrels of ale, bread and other foodstuffs. They also assaulted a trader by punching and kicking him, even though he was disabled. The case was dropped as there was lack of evidence and the men escaped the punishment of public humiliation at the Mercat Cross. High Cross Avenue is lined with 19th century villas, hinting at the wealth of the town.
Next: High Cross Church