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Jedburgh, 29-31 High Street

Tenement (18th Century)

Site Name Jedburgh, 29-31 High Street

Classification Tenement (18th Century)

Canmore ID 96550

Site Number NT62SE 121

NGR NT 65078 20654

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Architecture Notes

NT62SE 121 65078 20654


Photographic Survey (1964)

Photographic survey of buildings in Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, by the Scottish National Buildings Record/Ministry of Work in 1964.

Standing Building Recording (18 June 2009)

NT 65078 20654 A desk-based assessment and external elevation survey were undertaken in June 2009 before development. The former shop probably dates from the late 18th century and is a three-bay, three-storey building with a shop frontage on the ground floor and accommodation above. The building, now in a ruinous state, had been modified over the years, and demolition of some of the rear of the building in the 1980s had exposed the original and inserted bricked-up openings to the rear south-facing elevation. A further watching brief was undertaken during the removal of later fabric from the front façade.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Borders County Council

Diana Sproat and Gemma Hudson – AOC Archaeology Group

Photographic Survey (23 November 2012)

A photographic survey was of made of the accessible areas of 31 High Street, Jedburgh ahead of the demolition of the building. The structural condition of the building meant that it had been extensively propped and braced with scaffold for several years, but there remained significant evidence for its earlier form. Earlier roof timbers projected at mid-height from the SE wall of the second (top) floor, showing an earlier roofline. This roofline probably is probably contemporary to the earlier stonework in the E corner of the building, where a doorway (suspended between the current first and second floor levels) former led through to the property adjoining to the NE. The roof timbers that propped the current second floor level appeared to be of an age that suggests they were reused from this earlier phase of the building's form. At ground floor level and throughout the rear SE wall of the property there were re-used, worked ashlar stones that have evidently been quarried from an earlier building of some quality. A stub of wall returns to the rear elevation at ground floor level which shows a building once abutted the SE corner of the property.

A drawn record of the building was being made by Addyman Archaeology at the time of demolition.

Visited by RCAHMS Threatened Building Survey (IA and RA) - Nov 2012

Standing Building Recording (30 October 2012 - February 2013)

NT 65078 20654 A programme of archaeological work was undertaken, 30 October 2012 – March 2013, at 29–31 High Street, an historic street frontage property whose poor condition led to approval for its demolition. An historic building survey was undertaken prior to demolition and the demolition work was closely monitored. An examination of the visible elements of the rear wall of the building indicated that this was a structure of early origin, with openings displaying chamfered and roll moulded surrounds suggesting a 17th-century or possibly earlier date. The surviving masonry elements of a rear wing, demolished in recent years, also indicated a 17th- or early 18th-century date.

Stripping out of the modern internal finishes permitted a systematic historic building survey. Analysis revealed that the NE gable wall probably preserved the earliest surviving in situ fabric, including parts of a stone turnpike stair at the rear, E corner, of the structure. This preserved blocked entrances, detailed with chamfered surrounds, which had formerly led into the adjacent property to the NE, indicating that the structure had extended across both burgage plots.

With the exception of the NE wall, the earlier structure seems to have been comprehensively rebuilt. This second major phase of work affected the entire structure, and much of this work survived intact, including the SW gable wall, additions to the NE wall, the rear wall at ground and first floor levels, the first floor level of the frontage, and well preserved timber floor structures at first and second floor levels. At the original eaves level of the rear wall the truncated remains of the rafter feet and ties of the associated roof structure survived embedded within the surrounding masonry of a later raising of the wall head. Cereal chaff recovered from this area indicated a thatched roof at that period.

The remaining floor structures were notable for mostly being of oak and for the fact that the timbers were sinuous and minimally dressed, apart from the thorough stripping of bark, no doubt for tanbark. Dating of the floor and roof timbers by dendrochronology (by Coralie Mills) indicated the same year of felling for the whole oak structure, and it was possible to identify the season of felling as the winter of 1667/8. This indicates 1668 as the earliest likely date for the secondary rebuild of the structure. The tree-ring analysis indicated local native oak was used, which makes this the most recent native oak structure so far dated using dendrochronology anywhere in Scotland, from a period when imported pine usually dominates. This highlights the largely untapped dendro-potential in the Scottish Borders. A group of young pine timbers from the building have not yet been analysed.

The walling of this phase incorporated a number of reused stones, many of which displayed fine diagonal tooling suggestive of a medieval date. A notable concentration of such stones was recorded in the masonry of a projecting chimneybreast in the W wall. At ground floor level these included a very substantial lintel with chamfered aris and two recycled engaged capitals of ecclesiastical character. These were of later 12th- or earlier 13th-century date and not dissimilar to some of those remaining in situ at Jedburgh Abbey. A similarly early moulded window mullion section, also of ecclesiastical character, was recorded.

The upper parts of the building had seen considerable later reworking, probably in he later 18th or early 19th century, including the formation of a full second storey and the construction of a new roof structure of sawn pine.

The groups of historic timbers in the building were systematically sampled and this enabled the production of a detailed record of their constructional details.

Archive: RCAHMS

Funder: Scottish Borders Council

Kenneth Macfadyen, Tom Addyman and Coralie Mills, Addyman Archaeology, 2013

(Source: DES)

OASIS ID: addymana1-169389

Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding building.

Information from Scottish Borders Council.


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