Overview

With a 16th-century peel tower at its core Bemersyde House is an imposing house set within fine gardens and grounds close to the burgh of Melrose in the Borders.

The gardens were laid out by Field Marshal Earl Haig.


Opening
Opening

2020

Grounds only: year round, every day, dawn to dusk.

Email via their website to make an appointment before visiting.

Appointment

Historic Houses members visit for free.

The gardens only are open by appointment please contact Jack Frater by email jfrater@andersonsnorthern.co.uk or call 01968678465 to arrange your visit.

Find Us
Find us

Bemersyde is accessible by car on the B6356 St Boswells to Earlston road.

Follow signs for the William Wallace Statue and Scotts View.

The house entrance is on the left just before the Bemersyde village.

Parking

Car park on site

  • Free

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible parking
Group Visits
Group Visits

We offer visits to Members of NADFAS and NACF.

The house has no indoor staff so we are unable to offer any form of refreshments.

Please contact Jack Frater by email jfrater@andersonsnorthern.co.uk or call 01968678465.

Please check the website for further information, admission times and details for our special events

Visit website

Weddings


Opening
Opening

2020

Grounds only: year round, every day, dawn to dusk.

Email via their website to make an appointment before visiting.

Appointment

Historic Houses members visit for free.

The gardens only are open by appointment please contact Jack Frater by email jfrater@andersonsnorthern.co.uk or call 01968678465 to arrange your visit.

Find Us
Find us

Bemersyde is accessible by car on the B6356 St Boswells to Earlston road.

Follow signs for the William Wallace Statue and Scotts View.

The house entrance is on the left just before the Bemersyde village.

Parking

Car park on site

  • Free

Accessibility
Accessibility
  • Accessible parking
Group Visits
Group Visits

We offer visits to Members of NADFAS and NACF.

The house has no indoor staff so we are unable to offer any form of refreshments.

Please contact Jack Frater by email jfrater@andersonsnorthern.co.uk or call 01968678465.

Other opening

RIVER TWEED SALMON FISHING

Below the iconic Scott’s View is arguably the most beautiful stretch of the Tweed, that loops past the Eildon Hills in a beautiful wooded gorge giving fishers complete seclusion from the outside world.

Bemersyde has an excellent hut with fully equipped kitchen and gas BBQ available for tenants use on the middle beat for all rods. There are four boats, two for fishing and two for ferrying from bank to bank. Access is by car down a private track to a small parking area about 100ft above the rod hut. From there it is a short walk to the bank.

From the 1 February to 8 September 2019 one ghillie is employed and four rods fish each day on a syndicate basis. Syndicate rods are available from time to time. Please email David.Proudfoot@bemersydeestate.com for more information. From the 10 September 2019, six rods are let on a daily basis with two ghillies provided. During this period, the beat is split into three, with rods fishing in pairs and rotating on an am/pm basis.

BEMERSYDE HOUSE is now available to rent in conjunction with the fishing. This Historic house is above the river and sleeps up to 22 people and offers a great alternative for those wishing to enjoy their fishing and not having to travel. For availability, prices and a brochure please CONTACT US today or contact David Proudfoot directly on 01968 678465.

Find out more

The Sunken Garden at Bemersyde


Walks

The gardens at Bemersyde sits within the peaceful surrounds of the ancient woodlands along the banks of the River Tweed which is an important refuge for a diverse range of rare plant and beetle species.



Bemersyde House's history and features

The existing house reflects the lifestyle of its owners through the centuries.

The old Border Peel Tower most probably built on the site of an earlier dwelling was completed in 1535 during the reign of James V as the result of an Act of Parliament requiring defensive towers to be built along the English Army.

It was intended as a watchtower and signal fires would be built to warn of approaching danger from reivers or the English Army.

Built from stone from the quarry on Bemersyde, the original tower had four storeys and a vaulted roof. 

The walls are up to three metres thick and the stone spiral staircase is built within the thickness of the walls.  Stones from the ruined Dryburgh Abbey are incorporated.

Torched in 1547 by the English Army under the Earl of Hertford during the Reformation it was 1580 before it was rebuilt.  The politics of the time perhaps explain the delay as the intervening 30 years had been tumultuous in Scotland and James V had died leaving infant Mary as Queen. She, in turn, had been deposed in favour of her infant son James VI and by 1580 was imprisoned in England.

Four generations after the tower was rebuilt, Anthony Haig made alterations to make the tower more comfortable.  Fireplaces and glass windows were installed.  A slate roof was added and there were internal alterations. The stables and byres were moved from the south side of the tower and rebuilt to the north.

He was imprisoned in the Tolbooth on account of being a Quaker and released in 1667. Anthony devoted himself to the improvement of the estate.

Find out more here


Fun Facts

The romance of Bemersyde greatly appealed to the writer, Sir Walter Scott. His son-in-law, Lockhart, described Bemersyde in 1831 as "ancient residence of the most ancient family now subsisting on Tweedside".

Russell, in his history of the Haigs of Bemersyde in 1881 wrote,

"But its antiquity was not the sole claim which Bemersyde had upon the affections and veneration of Sir Walter Scott. There was that attaching to the place which could not fail, in one so constituted, not only awaken his interest but to stir his imagination.  Round the family and their old ancestral home, the fanciful superstitions of the district had thrown a veil of mingled mystery and wonder, and not a peasant or a peasant’s child but could repeat the prophetic utterance of Thomas the Rhymer:

"Tyde what may betide, Haig shall be Haig of Bemersyde"