Borders: About 2.5 miles south and west of Galashiels, just north of meeting of A707 and B7060, just north of River Tweed, near Fairnilee House, at Old Fairnilee.
Private NT 458327 OS: 73 TD1 3PR
Fairnilee (Old Fairnilee) consists of a 16th-century tower house of three storeys with corbiestepped gables. It was part of a larger rectangular mansion,
most of which has been demolished. Shot-holes survive beneath many of the windows.
The basement is not vaulted. A turnpike stair climbed to the upper floors, but only the stair-well remains. The inside has been greatly altered.
The site is marked on Blaeu’s map of Teviotdale as ‘Fernyly’.
Fairnilee was held by the Kerrs of Linton at the end of the 16th century, and Sir Thomas Kerr of Fairnilee is on record in the 1660s, but passed to the Rutherfords around 1700 and Robert Rutherford of Fairnilee is mentioned in 1704.
Alison Rutherford, later married to Patrick Cockburn, wrote ‘The Flowers of the Forest’ here, which commemorates the disastrous Battle of Flodden in 1513. A large mansion was built close by in the 19th century. This was complete in the 1880s, but by the early part of the 20th century most of it, apart from the old tower, had collapsed or been demolished.
Fairnilee House [NT 456332] dates from 1904 and was designed by Sir J,J, Burnet. There is a fine walled garden, dating from the same period, and the house stands in wooded policies.
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