AN interpretation board commemorating the battle of Skirmish Hill has been unveiled by Melrose Historical Association.
Located alongside the Southern Upland Way footpath between Lowood Bridge and Waverley Castle Hotel, the board has been designed and fabricated by Galashiels firm Invision Signs with additional artwork by Ed Martin.
The board recalls the events of almost 500 years ago when Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, was challenged by Walter Scott of Buccleuch over the custody of the 14-year-old King James V in July 1526.
Melrose Historical Association president Ian Skinner explained: “While the initial confrontation between the forces of Douglas and Buccleuch took place on Skirmish Hill, the site now occupied by the hotel, the subsequent action was widely scattered as groups of horsemen would have broken away to chase each other around the countryside.
“Douglas, who was supported by the Kers and Homes, outnumbered the 600 Buccleuch followers so eventually the challenger was forced to withdraw from the field. The final episode took place about a mile away when a group of retreating Buccleuch riders turned again to face their pursuers and Ker of Cessford was killed at a spot marked by the ‘Turn Again Stone’. The boy King James V is said to have watched proceedings from the battlements of nearby Darnick Tower.”
Technical and funding support was received from Scottish Borders Council and the Battlefield Trust.