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Hospital (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Smailholm

Classification Hospital (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Manor Of Smailholm; Smalham Spettal

Canmore ID 57188

Site Number NT63NW 8

NGR NT 645 363

NGR Description NT c. 645 363

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Smailholm
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Roxburgh
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Early documents indicate that a medieval hospital once stood near Smailholm. The site of the hospital is thought to lie to the west of the modern village of Smailholm, but since no trace of the hospital has yet been identified, its exact location remains uncertain.

The medieval hospital at Smailholm was founded before 1429, when the Pope confirmed a grant of the hospital made by Archibald, Earl of Douglas and Lord Smailholm, to the Abbey of Dryburgh. As well as caring for the sick, the hospital would have provided for the old and the destitute.

A historical document lists 'Smalholm Spettal' amongst the places burned by the English during an incursion which took place in 1542. Like so many religious sites in the Borders, the hospital at Smailholm had to pay a heavy price for the hostile relations between the Scots and the English, which persisted throughout the later medieval period and beyond.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

Archaeology Notes

NT63NW 8 c. 645 363

There was a hospital within the Manor of Smailholm, the property of the abbey and convent of Dryburgh. (Information from Liber S Marie de Dryburgh 1848).

A Jeffrey 1864.

'Smalham Spettal' appears in a list of places burned by the English in 1542. Mentions of Smailholm Spittal in rentals of Dryburgh Abbey c1540 onwards, and "elsewhere as late as 17th. March, 1637, are to land so designated."

D E Easson 1957.

No further information was found regarding this hospital or its site.

Visited by OS (WDJ), 21 September 1962.


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