Framed in Time

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This once-magnificent building in Galashiels is alas no more. It overlooked the Tweed and was pulled down in April 1984 to make way for the Kingsknowes private housing estate.

During its lifespan it was home to a mill owner and later as a convalescent home.

This picture from the past was taken around 1910 when it was known as the Abbotsview Co-operative Convalescent Inland Home. Abbotsview was built as Langhaugh during the 1850s by Captain Clark of the Royal Navy, a local justice of the peace and captain of the 1st Selkirkshire Rifle Volunteers.

In 1878 it was bought by local mill owner William Cochrane who renamed it Lynhurst. He also extended and modernised the house at a cost of £4,700, utilising the Glasgow architect John Honeyman who was an associate of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

By 1903 Cochrane had moved to his new home, Kirkland, and Lynhurst was on the market. In 1896 the Ayrshire Co-operative Society had opened a convalescent home at Largs on the Ayrshire coast. The East of Scotland Co-operative Society was captivated by its success and decreed in November 1899 to establish and inland home in the Tweed Valley, declaring that sea breezes were not suitable for everyone recovering from ill health.

Cochrane and the Co-op struck a £5,400 deal in February 1903. Conservation work costing £18,000 took three years to complete and the 100-place residential home was opened on March 31, 1906, as Abbotsview – the name presumably taken because the property overlooked the ford across the Tweed once used by the monks of Melrose. It boasted a large dining room, smoking room, two day rooms, a nursery, children’s play area and, as seen in this photograph, a recreation park.

By 1853, the home’s jubilee, it had housed 75,000 convalescents.

z Thanks to Alex F. Young’s booklet Old Galashiels for the photograph and much of the information.