Scott's View, Scottish Borders
The view is reached from a minor road leading south from Earlston off the A68 in the Scottish Borders on the side of Bemersyde Hill and three miles from Melrose was said to be a favourite of the writer Sir Walter Scott. The river Tweed can be seen meandering along below the view point and to the north west along the Tweed valley is Melrose.
On the slopes directly below are the remains of a woodland area and oak trees growing there are the descendants of trees which at one time supplied the wood for coffins made in the area.
It is said that Sir Walter stopped there so frequently that his horse would halt there without being told to do so. When his funeral cortège passed by on its way to Sir Walter burial at Dryburgh Abbey the horse pulling the hearse stopped automatically at the same spot.
On my first visit to the spot some years ago I was concentrating on photographing the view and was most surprised to turn round and be confronted by a huge statue of Sir William Wallace. It was placed there in 1814 so Sir Walter Scott would have seen it (I wonder what he thought of it?). The red sandstone statue rises to 31 feet and was commissioned by David Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan, a Scottish antiquarian.
The inscription at Wallace's feet reads:
Erected by David Stuart Erskine, Earl of Buchan
GREAT PATRIOT HERO!
ILL REQUITED CHIEF!
Below the statue of Wallace is a representation of a funeral urn inscribed:
Sacred to the memory of Wallace
The peerless Knight of Ellerslie
Who wav'd on Ayr's Romantic shore
The beamy torch of Liberty
And roaming round from Sea to Sea
From Glade obscure of gloomy Rock
His bold companions call'd to free
The Realm from Edward's Iron Yoke.
Sketch of Scott's View