Kelso - 'The Prospect of the Town of Kelso'

Historians think that Slezer made this prospect of Kelso before the fire of 1684, when much of the town was destroyed. The viewpoint is a hill to the south on the opposite bank of the River Tweed, near the meeting place of the Tweed and the River Teviot.

Thatched cottages at Maxwellheugh and fields in the foreground indicate the farmlands on the south side, while the ruined Kelso Abbey stands out above the town buildings to the north.

There is no bridge here, so the ferry was vital transport across the Tweed. The ferry could even carry a horse and rider!

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Kelso


To the Right Honourable the Earl of Roxburgh, Lord Kerr of Cessford and Cavertoun, &c.


A Town in Teviotdale, situated near the Mouth of the River Tweede. It was lately almost wholly destroyed by Fire, but is now rebuilt and adorned with most stately Buildings. It is surrounded with several Noblemen's Mannors, and most pleasant and fruitful Fields.

Here are to be seen the Ruines of an Ancient Monastery founded by King David, and possess'd by the Cistercians, an Order instituted about the Year 1000, under Pope Urban the II by Robert, Abbot of the famous Monastery of Cisteaux in Burgundy, whence the Observers of that Order were called Cistercians.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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