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Yetholm Scotland

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

The Queen Inn and the Old & New Gipsy Palaces


Kirk Yetholm from Venchen

The proprietor of the Queen Inn was King Will Faa II who was born in 1752 and died at the age of 95 in 1847. As a young man, Will was a notoriuos smuggler of whisky into England and gin in the reverse direction until he was injured by a sabre cut to the wrist in a confrontation with customs men. He was a strongly built athlete and a skilled football player. Part of his income was earned in the carting of coals from Etal in Northumberland to the village and to Jedburgh.

The Inn and the other two-storied properties next door were all demolished shortly after Will died, to be replaced by single storey cottages.

The Old Gipsy Palace was not pulled down until the late 1880's when Burnsyde House was built on the site. The Old Palace had become the abode of Princess Helen when her older sister became Queen Esther and moved house to the site on the other side of the road, now known as the Gypsy Palace, and which was the residence of the last Gypsy King Charles Faa Blythe, who died there in 1902.

The burn which used to run across the green, and which had been the main water supply of the village, was piped underground in the 1880's.

The Queen Inn and the Old Gipsy Palace both accessed Tinklers' Raw on the one side of the Green, facing Muggers' Raw and its cottages on the other.

The Grey Horse Public House, the last remaining of the earlier five Inns, changed name to The Old Border Inn in the 1890's before becoming the familiar Border Hotel of today.

[With thanks to Brian Ashby who has contributed both the text and the picture.]

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