The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Melrose Abbey

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AUG. 3. - Melrose to Dalkeith, by Dryburgh Abbey and Thirlstane Castle. The ruins of Melrose Abbey are, perhaps, the best preserved ruins of the kind in Scotland, though they admit of the improvement of showing the whole of the original floor, by removing from it the heaps of rubbish with which it is now disfigured. The accompanying burying-ground is extensive and not over-crowded with graves, and it might be surrounded and intersected with some straight gravel walks; and along these might be planted a few Irish yews, and other evergreens, chiefly of cypress-like shapes, which would afford agreeable walks for the inhabitants, and display the abbey to advantage to strangers. There are not many grave-stones that would be found in the way of the walks; but, where these did interpose, the symmetry of the walk could always be preserved by expanding it voluntarily as much on one side of the grave-stone as it was expanded from necessity on the other; surrounding the grave-stone with a circle or an oval of grass, or grouping it with a tree or shrub, where necessary or advantageous.