Welcome to the Smailholm Village WebsiteWe hope this website will contain something of interest for residents and local visitors, for tourists and holiday makers, and for people with family or friends in the area.
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Smailholm is a small village in the Scottish Borders. It is situated on the B6397, a few miles from Melrose, St Boswells, Earlston and Kelso. The village has about 40 households, with just over 100 names on the electoral roll. Despite its modest size and sleepy ambience, the village has many activities, mainly centred around Smailholm Village Hall. There are regular classes in pilates, art, and singing, a women's book group, film evenings, and other special events, at all of which people from others areas of the Borders and visitors staying locally are very welcome. The hall is available to hire for weddings, parties, concerts, plays, meetings, exhibitions, and other group activities.
Smailholm was originally divided into three villages, East Third, West Third and Overtown, though there is little trace of the latter, which now exists only as a pile of stones on the Smailholm Tower Road. At its peak, in the 1830s, the village had a population of over 600, but by the end of the 19th century this was nearly halved. Some famous names are associated with the village. Sir Walter Scott spent some of his childhood years in the farm at Sandyknowe, beside Smailholm Tower. The Smailholm Minister of the day, Rev. Alexander Duncan, was the prototype for Rev. Josiah Cargill in Scott's "St Ronan's Well." St Cuthbert is believed to have spent his childhood at Wrangholm, a nearby settlement which no longer exists, close to what is now New Smailholm Farm, before entering the abbey at Melrose. At various points in time, Smailholm has had a public house (and a Temperance Society), a coaching inn (now a private home), a leper hospital, two schools and a bank. Today it has a church and a Pottery. The village school closed in 1970, since when children have attended schools in Kelso, and the Post Office closed in 1999.
This website aims to inform villagers and others of what's going on in Smailholm and what else is available in the area. Whether you want to join in, are planning your wedding, researching your family history, or are part of the wider Smailholm diaspora and want to keep up with village events, we hope you will find something useful here.
Smailholm Village Hall Committee is responsible for events held in the hall.
Smailholm has a particularly attractive parish church (Church of Scotland), believed to be Norman in origin though little of the original remains. Records show that in 1171 Smailholm was a dependent of Earlston Church, and from 1408 until the Reformation (1560), it was in the possession of Dryburgh Abbey. From 1632 onwards the church was extensively rebuilt, with further alterations in 1820. The church bell, still used today, was made by Michael Burgenbuys and is inscribed "Smellum 1647." The church has a number of interesting features, including a boarded vaulted roof, and a Laird's Loft, accessible by means of an external stair at the north west end that continues inside the building. There are stained glass windows in the east end of the chancel, depicting St. Cuthbert.
Services are usually held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, at 10.00 am. The Minister, Jenny Earl, can be contacted on 01573 470607.
Information is available here on Smailholm Church and other churches in the Kelso Country Churches group.
Smailholm is part of Floors, Makerstoun, Nenthorn and Smailholm Community Council. More information on the Community Council is available on the Village Hall Committee page.