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Yetholm Scotland

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Information on the village of Yetholm, near Kelso in Scotland.

Cherrytrees

In 1836, when Jeffrey wrote his History, it was the property of Adam Brack Boyd. He describes it as 'occupying a very lovely situation on the east side of the vale, which extends from Beaumont round Yetholm Law, to Primside. The house is small but handsome, and the grounds are adorned with wood.'

In 1523, it was the property of George Rutherfurd, son and heir of John Rutherfurd of Hundolee.

In 1605, a William Tait 'of Cherrytrees' was involved in a criminal trial at his instance against James Tait of Kelso, for the murder of his son on the green at Cherrytrees. He alleged that the said James Tait with his accomplices, armed with swords, steel bonnets, lances and pistols, came to the green at Cherrytrees, where the deceased was, and slew him. The jury, made up of local neighbours, found James Tait to be 'cleane innocent and acquit of airt and pairt of the said slauchter'.

In 1624, it belonged to John Ker of Lochtour.

By 1665 it was the property of William Ker.

In 1684, Ker, laird of Cherrytrees, along with the lairds of Brodie and Grant, Craufurd of Ardmillan, Elliot of Stobs, and others, were accused of conspiring against the succession of the Duke of York.

In 1672, part of the estate was granted to Wauchope of Niddrie.

At the end of the 1700's it belonged to the Murray family.

The present house is detailed in Charles Strang's 'Borders and Berwick' as

'A thing of beauty; two storey main block, seven-bay symmetry, centre pedimented, single storey flanking wings, all in ashlar with rusticated quoins. Hipped slated roof restrained by parapet urns. Good early 19th century steading with square clock-tower two-stage doocot, slated pyramidical spire, vaulted lambing shed, 1838. In walled garden, five-bay Gothick hothouse, originally flanked by lean-to glasshouses. T-plan classical gate lodge, wrought-iron gates, square ashlar piers with whin quadrant walls.'

The estate is described by Groome - 'The gardens and plantations about Cherrytrees showed that the Estate had fallen into the hands of a man of good taste and skill in ornamental landscape gardening.'

In the RCAHMS records, Cherrytrees is described as

'Early 19th century house. Probably on an earlier site as there was a house noted in 1523. B-Listed building'.

Writing in 1841, Rev Baird notes that :

'In the vale of Cherrytrees are probably an hundred acres of moss, which, however, have been drained, and are now under cultivation. The average depth of the moss is eight feet. Trunks of various trees, as willows, birches, but especially oaks of a black colour, and extremely hard, were discovered in it.'

Charles Strang adds in a note:

'Cherrytrees gave its name to the Revd Williamson, late of St Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, who as a persecuted Presbyterian was chased here by dragoons. The quick thinking of the lady of the house found Cherrytrees Davie, boots and all, successfully concealed in her (presumably also chaste) daughter's bed. The compromised maiden became the first of CD's seven wives, or so it is said.'

Thirlestane

This small estate has been subsumed within the estate of Cherrytrees. It appears to have been in the keeping of the Kers of Lochtour, having been the property of Sir Andrew Ker of Greenhead before 1661, when it was bought by James Scott, brother-german to Sir William Scott of Harden.

One of the lairds of Thirlestane, a Dr Scott, was a physician to King Charles II, and a distinguished chemist.

The old mansion-house stood near Lochtour, on a raised platform protected on the south and east by Yetholm bog.

The house was pulled down about 1815. One of the rooms in the house was called the 'Warlock's room', and is supposed to have been the laboratory of the learned doctor.

Around 1800, the estate was in the hands of George Walker and George Douglas.

By 1835 it was part of the Sunlaws estate lands in the name of William Scott Ker.

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