SCENE FROM THE BORDERS


A selection of photos that includes the old St Columba's site, the Eildons, Monteviot etc

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(source : Paul West)


Dryburgh reunion, September 2003
Bridge over the River Tweed

Did it always look as smart as this ? Do you remember the folly (on the hillock to the left) ?


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(source : Paul West)



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(source : Paul West)

Dryburgh reunion, September 2003
The approach to St Columba's, with the chapel on the right.

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(source : Paul West)

The Smailholm Tower.

There's a magnificent view of the Eildons from the top floor of the Tower. You may not remember that there were 'floors', as such,because in the fifties / sixties it was pretty wrecked. It now has polished floors, central heating and even a gift shop.  If you visit http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk you'll find the following description :

 Smailholm Tower
"Sited high on a rocky outcrop, Smailholm is a small rectangular tower set within a stone barmkin wall. Inside the tower is a model of this Pringle residence and a charming collection of costume figures and tapestries relating to Sir Walter Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders. It was the sight of Smailholm that fired Walter Scott’s imagination when, as a young boy, he was brought up by his grandparents at the nearby farm of Sandyknowe ."

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Robbie Dempsey writes :
"This compass plate was erected in 1926 "In memory of Sir Walter Scott from this spot he was wont to view and point the glories of the BORDERLAND"

This is the view directly eastwards from the top of the middleEildon hill at 1385 ft. You can make out St. Boswell's at one o'clock, and - (with binoculars in my case, and magnifying glass in yours) just to the left of it you can see the college, or Tweed Horizons — as it's now called.

The Big Eildon hill lies at 10 o'clock, while the little one is directly south. Edinburgh lies 32 miles away at 8 o'clock.Smailholm Tower lies 5 1/4 miles away at 11 o'clock.

Melrose lies immediately to the north, where I found cinnamon scones, muffins and shortcake, and a large pot of tea, having climbed all 3 Eildons."

(photo source and commentary : Robbie Dempsey)



(source : John & Margaret Morton)


Nightime view of the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel.

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(source : Paul West)

This is hanging in the old St Columba's Chapel, at the back

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(source : Paul West)


And here is the Latin version, permanently positioned in the alcove above.



Ian Scott writes (February 2010) : when I visited St Columba’s last summer with Mike Ellis et al I was surprised to see that the translation of the plaque at the back of the chapel was wrong and does not capture the spirit of the original, the idea of the stone expressing its feelings.  So, I also attach [the following] which
summarises the situation.

(My Latin is purely Classical, so someone with a deep  knowledge of Church Latin might suggest improvements) :


I heard the chants of the monks over four centuries at Melrose, and for the same number of years I saw the gloomy darkness of night.

The White Fathers restored me to the praise of the divine majesty.

Among them always the one Christ remains everywhere.

“ . .That chapel was added after the war in the time of Fr Andrew Murphy, who was to become Provincial and later the founder of our houses in Australia. It contains a stone kindly donated by the authorities at Melrose Abbey and is placed at the back of the chapel with an inscription recalling that it had re-echoed to the chanting of the medieval monks and now to the voices of our students.  “ 

(from “A History of the White Fathers in Scotland” attributed to Father Leonard Marchant WF)

1146 – 1560     Abbey  “in song” !!

1560 – 1946    no song  =  blind darkness.

1946 -               White Fathers bring song back


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(source : Paul West)

Can you believe that this is where the Chapel altar used to be ?
Probably seems a lot smaller than you remember, too.