Melrose History Pages
'Roman Soldier greets the Melrosian
Photo: Gordon Lockie, courtesy Southern Reporter
Trimontium, a strategic site commanding the river crossing of Dere Street, was important enough to figure in Ptolemy's Geography. First established to house Agricola's troops, both foot and horse, in 80 A.D., it was periodically rebuilt and reoccupied until about 200 A.D.
At the stone erected by the Edinburgh Borderers Association to mark the camp site, the Melrosian and party are greeted by a figure garbed as a Roman soldier, and he in well chosen words and resounding tones, links distant Rome and present Melrose.
After the Romans came the Cross. From the way down to Leaderfoot with its three bridges, we can see beyond the A68 the wooded headland of Old Melrose, where the names of Chapelknowe, Holywell and Monksford tell us that here was the first monastic settlement, founded in 635 by St. Aidan.
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