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Yetholm Scotland

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Information on the village of Yetholm, near Kelso in Scotland.

The Barony of Town Yetholm

'With the exception of a small portion of land on the south of the Beaumont Water this barony lies on the north of the beautiful vale through which this stream flows.'

In 1495, the Earl of Bothwell got a charter of Town Yetham with the patronage of the church.

In 1585 George Rutherfurd, heir-apparent of John Rutherfurd of Hundolee, was possessed of the ten pound lands of Town Yetham.

In 1585, James IV and his parliament ratified an infeftment in favour of Francis, Earl of Bothwell, of 'all and haill the landis and baronie of Town Yethame, with towns, pairtis, dependencies, pendecilis, annexis, outsettis, mylnis, tennetis, tenandriis, etc.'

In the late 1500's, Gilbert Ker of Primsideloch, Elizabeth Edmonstone, his wife, and their third son, got a charter of the demesne lands of Town Yetham.

In 1608, John Ker of Hirsel obtained a charter of the baronies of Maxton, Linton and Town Yetham.

Three years later, Gilbert Ker of Lochtour, eldest son of John Ker of Hirsel, was in possession of Lochtour.

In 1624, John Ker of Lochtour succeeded his brother in the lands of Town Yetham.

By 1634, the lands were in the hands of the Buccleuch family.

In 1643, John Wauchope of Niddrie got a charter of the tennandrie of Town Yetham.

In 1662, Sir John Wauchope obtained a new charter of all and haill the town and lands of Sunnyside, Wideopen, Strankford and Boghouse, with houses, yards, tofts, and crofts, which formerly belonged to Sir John Ker, and formed part of the barony of Lochtour, 'of late called Town Yetham'; also all and sundry the town and mains of the barony of Town Yettoun, molne and milne lands, and the patronage of the Kirk of Town Yettoun; the lands of Bennetsbank; the lands of Shirrietrees; the lands of Hayhope; half of the husbandland called the Closs and Butterbrae, being a pendicle of the lands of Hayhope, with pasturages and priveleges according to wont, in the bounds of Town Yettoun; the haugh called Little Roughhaugh; the lands of Easter and Wester Rysides; four husbandlands of Baltrees; which charter contained an erection of said lands, town, mains, and barony of Town Yettoun, Shirrytrees, and Little Roughhaugh into one barony, to be called in all time coming the barony of Lochtour, for the yearly payment of thirty pounds. In 1672, the charter was ratified by Parliament.

In 1683, James Wauchope, born of the marriage between his father and the widow of Sir John Ker of Lochtour, claimed the estate of Lochtour in right of his mother.

In 1798, Douglas recorded 'There is a weekly market at Yetholm on Wednesday. The market at Yetholm is rather insignificant.'

When Jeffrey was writing, the family of Wauchope was still in possession of the barony of Yetham.

Jeffrey states:

'Now the principal place of the barony, stands on the left bank of the Beaumont forming the southern base of Yetholm Law. It is a regularly built village, containing the parish schoolhouse, a ladies' school, a Free church, and a dissenting meeting-house. The village was at one time deemed unhealthy and liable to epidemic diseases, owing to an extensive morass on the east of the village, and which encircled Yetholm Law; but a drain was carried up the middle of the marsh, and the stagnant pool is now converted into excellent land. Last year, a good supply of water was brought to the town from a neighbouring height. There is little trade in the town. It has two fairs in the year, and what is termed a high market after each term of Martinmas and Whitsunday. It formerly had a market on the Wednesday, but it has long ceased to exist. It is governed by a baron baillie.'

Esther Faa Blythe, who died in 1883, described Yetholm as 'sae mingle-mangle that ane micht think it was either built on a dark nicht or sewn on a windy ane.'

Within Town Yetholm there are still a few thatched houses, particularly along the Main Street, giving that part of the village an old world look.

In 1952, writing for the Statistical Account, the Rev Kenneth MacFadden writes:

'Toun Yetholm is a clean and well-kept village, and one could scarcely pass through it, without remarking on its beauty. It contains approximately 280 inhabitants. Of these 22 are retired; 52 own their own houses and a great many of these have been renovated and modernised. Only three houses are kept by people living at a distance who come to the village for holidays and weekends.'

In the village there were two grocer's shops, one butcher's, two paper/fancy goods shops, one tailor's and men's outfitters, one boot shop, a baker's business and shop and the post office.


Romany House Hotel 1950's

There were, and are, still two licensed hotels, the Plough and the White Swan. On the outskirts was the Romany House Hotel, which was soon to become a home for the elderly. Later it was closed and returned to being a private home, with at one time, a coffee shop in the conservatory at the back.

Town Yetholm has the local garage and petrol pumps which service and supply the locality.

Between the wars, alongside the modernisation of the existing houses, the Council and private builders were busy adding 15 houses to the existing stock. After the Second World War a further ten prefabs, eight Crudens and 28 other houses were erected in Town Yetholm.

Kirk Yetholm had four prefabs added to the two Council houses built between the wars. From this one can see that it was Town Yetholm which was to be expanded, at that time, rather than Kirk Yetholm. Later, in the late eighties and nineties Kirk Yetholm was to have new housing built, in the private sector.

In 1951, a completely new sewage system was constructed for the village, as the old one could no longer cope with the increased numbers living in the village.

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