infobox UK place
country = Scotland
gaelic_name= Na Pùballan
constituency_westminster= Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
constituency_scottish_parliament= Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale
postcode_district = EH45
market town, Peebles played a role in the woollen industry of the Scottish Borders up until the 1960s. Although one woollen mill remains operational in the town, the industrial composition of Peebles has changed and Peebles is now home to many people who commute to work in Edinburghas well as being a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer. Notable buildings in the town include the Old Parish Church of Peeblesand Neidpath Castle. Other local attractions include a museumand the Kailzie Gardens.
Peebles lies at the confluence of the
River Tweedand Eddleston Water (locally called the Cuddy). The Tweed flows west to east, and the Eddleston flows from the north, turning some 300m before the confluence to flow south-west. This south-westerly turn demarcates a raised triangular piece of land, open to the east but contained by the rivers to the south and north.
The eastern side was defended in historic times by a town wall, which ran in an east facing arc, through which the road to
Glentresspassed at the East Gate. The road passing through this gate, the Eastgate, is one of four "gates" in Peebles, the others being Northgate, Bridgegate (where the Eddleston Water was crossed to the north of town), and Ludgate (the western gate of the town), now called Young Street.
At the junction of Eastgate and Northgate roads, where the Eastgate becomes High Street, is an ancient market cross. The present-day market is held in the station car park, to the north and south ends of which are the remains of the town wall. Peebles High Street runs parallel with the Tweed along the spine of a ridge, at the west end of which is the parish church.
Historic features and traditions
The oldest building in Peebles is the tower of St Andrew's Church. The church was founded in
1195. It was destroyed (along with many other Borders Abbeys and Priories) by the soldiers of Henry VIII. The stones of the ruins were pilfered for many other local buildings leaving only the tower standing amongst the gravestone of the churchyard. Another ancient church in the town is the Cross Kirk, founded in 1261. Although now mainly ruins, the Cross Kirk plays a prominent part in the local festival.
The annual local festival in Peebles is called the
Beltane, and involves (as with many Borders festivals) a Common Riding. The Beltane culminates with the crowning of the Beltane Queen(a girl chosen from one of three local primary schools) along with her court, including the likes of the First and Second Courtiers, Sword Bearer and Standard Bearer; on the steps in front of the parish church. The adult principal of the festival is the Cornet, a local young man chosen by the organising committee on a basis of being considered worthy of representing the town, who then carries the town standard for a year.
To the west of the town is
Neidpath Castle, which can be reached on foot through Hay Lodge park, the route offering spectacular views of the castle. The castle is now closed to the public.On the south side of the High Street are the old burghoffices. These incorporate the town library, art gallery and local museum. The building occupied by these are called the Chambers Institute, being deeded to the town by William Chambers, a member of the Chambers publishing family who originated in the town. Chambers' house can be found on the oldest street in Peebles - Biggiesknowe.
John Buchan practised law in Peebles for some time, and his house (opposite the old
Sheriff Court) bears a commemorative plaque.
Mungo Park is likewise commemorated, at a house on the north of the Cuddy, where he practised medicine for some years.
Peebles is no longer connected to the railway system. In years past, the
Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railwayhad lines that connected Peebles to Edinburghand Galashiels.
A person born in Peebles is called a "gutterbluid", although few people can now claim that distinction as Peebles no longer has a hospital, so many babies are born in
Edinburghor Borders General Hospitalat Melrose.
Peebles has three primary schools, the state Kingsland and Priorsford schools and the
CatholicHalyrude Primary school. Peebles also has a the largest secondary school in the Scottish Borders, Peebles High School, which is attended by pupils from all over Tweeddale. In 2005, a study by the New Economics Foundationranked Peebles as the best town in Scotland (second best in the UK, after Hebden Bridgein Yorkshire) for range of independent shops and 'home town identity' [ [http://society.guardian.co.uk/urbandesign/story/0,,1500199,00.html Retail chains 'cloning' UK towns | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited ] ] .
* [http://www.peebles.info/index.cfm?page=home Royal Burgh of Peebles]
*" [http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC04700618&id=elgJAAAAIAAJ&dq=history+of+peeblesshire A History of Peeblesshire] " by William Chambers, from Google Books.
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