Peebles: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 55°39′N 3°11′W / 55.65°N 3.18°W / 55.65; -3.18

Scottish Gaelic: Na Pùballan
Scots: Peebles
Peebles is located in Scotland

 Peebles shown within Scotland
Population 8,159 
OS grid reference NT2540
Council area Scottish Borders
Lieutenancy area Tweeddale
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PEEBLES
Postcode district EH45
Dialling code 01721
Police Lothian and Borders
Fire Lothian and Borders
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
Scottish Parliament Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Peebles is a burgh in the committee area of Tweeddale, in the Scottish Borders, lying on the River Tweed. According to the 2001 Census, the population was 8,159.[1]

Initially a market town, Peebles played a role in the woollen industry of the Scottish Borders up until the 1960s. Although one woollen mill remains operational in the town, the industrial composition of Peebles has changed and the town is now home to many people who commute to work in Edinburgh as well as being a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer. In the mid-to-late 1800s, this included health tourism, centering around hydropathic establishments, which over time morphed into hotel format, with Peebles Hydro Hotel being one of the few survivors of that era.[2] Notable buildings in the town include the Old Parish Church of Peebles and Neidpath Castle. Other local attractions include a museum and the Kailzie Gardens.

The River Tweed, Peebles



Peebles lies at the confluence of the River Tweed and Eddleston Water (locally called "the Cuddy"). The Tweed flows west to east, and the Eddleston flows from the north, turning to flow south-west 300 yards before the confluence. This south-westerly turn demarcates a raised triangular piece of land, open to the east but contained by the rivers to the south and north.

The eastern side was defended in historic times by a town wall, which ran in an east facing arc, through which the road to Glentress passed at the East Gate. The road passing through this gate, the Eastgate, is one of four gates in Peebles, the others being Northgate, Bridgegate (where the Eddleston Water was crossed to the north of town), and Ludgate (the western gate of the town), now called Young Street.

At the junction of Eastgate and Northgate roads, where the Eastgate becomes High Street, is an ancient market cross. The present-day market is held in the station car park, to the north and south ends of which are the remains of the town wall. Peebles High Street runs parallel with the Tweed along the spine of a ridge, at the west end of which is the parish church.

Historic features and traditions

A monument to the First World War in Peebles.

The oldest building in Peebles is the tower of St Andrew's Church. The church was founded in 1195. It was destroyed (along with many other Borders abbeys and priories) by the soldiers of Henry VIII. The stones of the ruins were pilfered for many other local buildings leaving only the tower standing amongst the gravestone of the churchyard. Another ancient church in the town is the Cross Kirk, founded in 1261. Although now mainly ruins, the Cross Kirk plays a prominent part in the local festival.

The annual local festival in Peebles is called the Beltane, and involves (as with many Borders festivals) a Common Riding. The Beltane culminates with the crowning of the Beltane Queen (a girl chosen from one of three local primary schools) along with her court, including the likes of the First and Second Courtiers, Sword Bearer and Standard Bearer; on the steps in front of the parish church. The adult principal of the festival is the Cornet, a local young man chosen by the organising committee on a basis of being considered worthy of representing the town, who then carries the town standard for a year.

To the west of the town is Neidpath Castle, which can be reached on foot through Hay Lodge Park, the route offering spectacular views of the castle. The castle is now closed to the public.

Old Parish Church, Peebles

On the south side of High Street are the old burgh offices. These incorporate the town's library, art gallery and local museum. The building occupied by these are called the Chambers Institution, being deeded to the town by William Chambers, a member of the Chambers publishing family who originated in the town. Chambers' house can be found on the oldest street in Peebles - Biggiesknowe.

John Buchan practised law in Peebles, and his house (opposite the old Sheriff Court) bears a commemorative plaque.

Mungo Park is likewise commemorated, at a house on the north of the Cuddy, where he practised medicine.

Eric Bogle, the international recording artist, was borne in Peebles in 1944.

Peebles is no longer connected to the railway network. In years past, the Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway had lines that connected Peebles to Edinburgh and Galashiels.

A person born in Peebles is called a gutterbluid, although few people can now claim that distinction as Peebles no longer has a hospital, so many babies are born in Edinburgh or Borders General Hospital at Melrose.


Peebles has three primary schools, the state Kingsland and Priorsford Schools and the Roman Catholic Halyrude Primary School. Peebles also has the largest secondary school in the Scottish Borders, Peebles High School, which is attended by pupils from all over Tweeddale.

Peebles overview from Cademuir Hill. The Hydro Hotel can be seen on the right.

A hillside to the north of the town is dominated by the Hydro Hotel. The town is surrounded by hill country on all sides and is therefore an attractive centre for the hillwalker. From a car park 2 km south of the town, a network of tracks and paths ascend the slopes of Cademuir Hill. The highest point (416 m) is easily accessible, despite being within a forestry plantation and off the paths.

In 2005, a study by the New Economics Foundation ranked Peebles as the best town in Scotland (second best in the UK, after Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire) for range of independent shops and 'home town identity'.[3]

Further reading

Chambers, William (1843). A History of Peeblesshire (8th ed.). Edinburgh & London: William and Robert Chambers. Retrieved 6 December 2009.   Full text at Google Books. Joe Brown and Iain Lawson, History of Peebles: 1850-1990 (Mainstream) 1990.


External links

* History of Peebles: 1850-1990 by Joe Brown and Iain Lawson (Mainstream) 1990.


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Peebles is a town in the Scottish Borders.

Get in

Buses leave from Edinburgh St Andrew's Bus station regularly - otherwise you'll have to drive.

Get around

Most of Peebles can be seen on foot. However there is also a bus service which does run most of the way round the town, but is mainly used for locals and it basically visits all the different housing areas.


Neidpath Castle Traquair House Kailzie Gardens


For a bit of luxury try Stobo Castle Health Spa. Set in beautiful grounds, it offers a variety of treatments as well as having beautiful guest rooms and wonderful food. Is quite expensive though-but has been known to host celebrities such as Gwen Stefani and Tiger Woods. The Eastgate theatre hosts many local and national acts and is worth going to see something one night mainly for the atmosphere.


There is nothing particular that is special to Peebles itself, some local produce is about it. There are many nice, individual gift shops on the high street and down some of the smaller streets leading off the high street worth a look at though.

MacHardy's, just off the High Street, is a small art gallery which sells reasonably priced art from local artists.


For pub food-try The County-situated in the middle of the high street. Cheap, traditional good food in a local pub atmosphere. Filled with younger locals. For something more upmarket there is the Halcyon restaurant located next to the EastGate Theatre on the high street. With dishes made from local produce this restaurant offers top class food and service. Also a wonderful italian called 'Francos' found at the end of the high street next to the Parish Church. Small, but their pasta dishes-especially the lasagne is beautiful. For a good Indian meal try the Prince Of India who have recently started the option of a buffet.


Many pubs on the high street-nothing too special and again mainly filled with locals. For the younger generation (18+ of course as that is the UK law) try the County as mentioned before. The older generations tend to head to the pub at the end of the high street called 'The Trust'. The Cross Keys, down the Northgate is also nice when its hot as it has a good beer garden, as does The Neidpath, found in the old town area.


Many guest houses dotted all over the town. Peebles Hotel Hydro is good for families as it offers kids club, swimming activities, horse riding etc

Get out

One of Scotlands top attractions is 5 minute drive from Peebles-Glentress Mountain Biking. Bringing a large majority of tourists to the area it is good for all standards of biking and well worth visiting. Golfing is very popular, again 5 minutes away from the town at Cardrona Country Club.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PEEBLES, a royal and police burgh and county town of Peeblesshire, Scotland, situated at the junction of Eddleston Water with the Tweed. Pop. (1901), 5266. It is 27 m. south of Edinburgh by the North British Railway (22 m. by road), and is also the terminus of a branch line of the Caledonian system from Carstairs in Lanarkshire. The burgh consists of the new town, the principal quarter, on the south of the Eddleston, and the old on the north; the Tweed is crossed by a handsome fivearched bridge. Peebles is a noted haunt of anglers, and the Royal Company of Archers shoot here periodically for the silver arrow given by the burgh. The chief public buildings are the town and county halls, the corn exchange, the hospital and Chambers Institution. The last was once the town house of the earls of March, but was presented to Peebles byWilliam Chambers, the publisher, in 1859. The site of the castle, which stood till the beginning of the 18th century, is now occupied by the parish church, built in 1887. Of St Andrew's Church, founded in 1195, nothing remains but the tower, restored by William Chambers, who was buried beside it in 1883. The church of the Holy Rood was erected by Alexander III. in 1261, to contain a supposed remnant of the true cross discovered here. The building remained till 1784, when it was nearly demolished to provide stones for a new parish church. Portions of the town walls still exist, and there are also vaulted cellars constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries as hiding-places against Border freebooters. The old cross, which had stood for several years in the quadrangle of Chambers Institution, was restored and erected in High Street in 1895. The industries consist of the manufactures of woollens and tweeds, and of meal and flour mills. The town is also an important agricultural centre.

The name of Peebles is said to be derived from the pebylls, or tents, which the Gadeni pitched here in the days of the Romans. The place was early a favourite residence of the Scots kings when they came to hunt in Ettrick forest. It probably received its charter from Alexander III., was created a royal burgh in 1367 and was the scene of the poem of Peblis to the Play, ascribed to James I. In 1544 the town sustained heavy damage in the expedition led by the 1st earl of Hertford, afterwards the protector Somerset, and in 1604 a large portion of it was destroyed by fire. Though James VI. extended its charter, Peebles lost its importance after the union of the Crowns.

On the north bank of the Tweed, one mile west of Peebles, stands Neidpath Castle. The ancient peel tower dates probably from the 13th century. Its first owners were Tweeddale Frasers or Frisels, from whom it passed, by marriage, to the Hays of Yester in Haddingtonshire, earls of Tweeddale. It was besieged and taken by Cromwell in 1650. The third earl of Tweeddale (1645-1713) sold it to the duke of Queensberry in 1686. The earl of Wemyss succeeded to the Neidpath property in 1810.

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Up to date as of January 23, 2010
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