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Melrose, Market Square

Market Cross (17th Century), Sundial (17th Century)

Site Name Melrose, Market Square

Classification Market Cross (17th Century), Sundial (17th Century)

Canmore ID 55739

Site Number NT53SW 31

NGR NT 54768 33973

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Melrose
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT53SW 31 54768 33973

(NT 54773397) Cross (NR)

OS 25" map (1964)


A restored 16th century market cross raised on a 19th century base of built stonework with two octagonal sub-bases supporting the shaft which bears a shield, the date 1645 and a sun-dial. It is surmounted by a much-weathered unicorn supporting a shield.

J W Small 1900; RCAHMS 1956, visited 1933

Visited by OS (WDJ) 13 February 1961

This cross is as described except that the shield and date could not be identified.

Surveyed at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (TRG) 2 March 1977


Publication Account (1998)

The focal point of town life was the market cross figure 18 & 23.L. According to early illustrations and maps, the original site of the cross was closer to the top of Abbey Street; and this is confirmed by the fact that it is known fron documentary evidence that it stood in front of the main entrance to the abbey figure 8. Very little of the original cross now remains. An engraving of about 1814 shows the cross with a stepped base. This base was replaced sometime in the nineteeth century. The original shaft was so worn that it, too, had to be replaced as recently as 1988, although the staple that held the jougs was fitted to the new shaft. The jougs were an iron neck ring on a chain where offenders were held for punishment and public ridicule. The finial, a unicorn, holding between its front feet a shield bearing the royal arms, was mounted on a square capital, which bore the date 1645 and the initials of the contemporary burgh superior, John, earl of Haddington. It is believed, however, that this date commemorated restoration work to the cross, rather than its construction date. A mallet and rose, a pun on the name 'Melrose' was also represented. Both the finial and the capital were so weather-worn that they, too, were renewed in 1990.

Information from ‘Historic Melrose: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1998).

Sbc Note

Visibility: Standing structure or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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