The narrow street by the Ship Inn - which was originally two houses with their gable ends to the street - is East Port, the historic eastern entrance gate to the town. In East Port is a house with a rounded gable which was the town's toll house and until 1855, the sergeant of police's house. Here, traders paid a charge to set up their stalls and barriers were erected when disease was rife. The most feared disease of all was the plague or "Black Death". When there was an outbreak in English border towns in the summer of 1636, the markets and fairs in Melrose, Coldstream, Duns, Hawick, Kelso and Selkirk were cancelled in an attempt to stop the plague spreading. A similar measure was taken in 1637 but the disease spread over the border resulting in many deaths. In March 1638, a law was made which forbade anyone to cross the border with England. All these measures meant a loss of trade and income to the town and yet had little effect in halting the spread of the plague.
Turn right into Scott's Place. Cross the Dingleton Road which leads up towards the golf course (at one time Melrose Common) where until 1897, various livestock markets were held. Just to the right of the junction is Station Road, the site of the first Parish School. Head up Palma Place towards the former railway station in front of you.
Next: Former Railway Station