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Melrose (Scottish Gaelic: Maol Ros) is a small town and civil parish in the Scottish Borders, historically in Roxburghshire. It is in the Eildon committee area.


Melrose main street
Melrose shown within Scotland

Population: 1,671 (2001)

OS grid reference: NT5434

Council area: Scottish Borders

Lieutenancy area: Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale

Country: Scotland

Sovereign state: United Kingdom

Postcode district: TD6

Dialling code: 01896

Police: Scottish

Fire: Scottish

Ambulance: Scottish

EU Parliament: Scotland

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).<ref> (accessed 3rd July 2014)</ref>

Nearby is the Roman fort of Trimontium, and Dryburgh Abbey. Melrose is surrounded by the small villages of Darnick, Gattonside, Newstead, Lilliesleaf and Bowden.

Sir Walter Scott's home, Abbotsford, lies a few miles west of the town.


Melrose is the birthplace of Rugby Sevens and also has a rugby union team, Melrose RFC. Melrose is an area where rugby union has always been the most popular sport. 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.