The Conservation Area of Dryburgh is located in the crook of the River Tweed beneath the Eildon Hills. Legend states that “Dryburgh” is a translation of an ancient Celtic name meaning “the bank of the sacred oaks”.
Although there are a few ancient oak trees in the neighbourhood, the name is more likely to refer to the fact that there are no fresh water springs at Dryburgh.
The village of Dryburgh owes much of its existence due to the works of David Stuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan who was the owner of much of the land in the area and spent his life developing and improving the estate.
The Dryburgh Conservation Area is unique in the Borders in that it is a rural area that has many different types of buildings.
These buildings range significantly from the modest agricultural buildings at Dryburgh Mains to the grandeur of the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel and the Abbey.
The relationship of the buildings and the spaces between them contribute significantly to both the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.
While the properties themselves range from single storey to two and a half storeys in height for residential buildings, the hotel rises to a significant three and a half storeys.
Building materials include slate, harl and sandstone in varying colours. Both coursed rubble and ashlar stonework can be found, the ashlar being present on the grander properties.
Details such as boundary walls with coping, crowsteps, stepped quoins, rybats and margins are features notable in Dryburgh and should be preserved. Dormers are present on a number of the properties and vary in height and are often gable fronted.
Windows tend to take the form of timber sash and case (6/6, 2/2). While all of these details contribute significantly to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, it is these very elements that give Dryburgh its distinct appearance that should be preserved. It is for that reason that any alterations to individual buildings or new development within the Conservation Area should seek to respect the individual building and the wider Conservation Area.
There are ten listed buildings within the amended Conservation Area – of which Dryburgh Abbey is category “A” and is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Site BNEWT001 (Tweed Horizons Expansion) extends into the Dryburgh Conservation Area, refer to Newtown St Boswells Settlement Profile and Map).
Alterations from previous Statement and Boundary
Alterations to the Dryburgh Conservation Area boundary from that shown on the Dryburgh Conservation Area Map (1999) consist of the inclusion of the field to the north-west of the Temple of the Muses. Whilst the exclusions include the listed Wallace statue, Urn and the track leading to these, a section of the River Tweed, The Holmes and two planted areas on the north side of the Conservation Area.