Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.

Tomb of Sir Walter Scott, King James obelisk, headstone of Field Marshall Earl Haig and memorials in burial ground to the north of Dryburgh Abbey and excluding scheduled monument SM90103, DryburghLB15114

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 59162 31713
359162, 631713


In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: scheduled monument SM90103.

The tomb of Sir Walter Scott (died 1832) and family members is at NT 59162 31713 and is located within the remains of the north transept of Dryburgh Abbey, which is a scheduled monument and is excluded from the listing. The tomb of Scott and his wife (died 1816) is a plain, double chest-tomb of polished red granite inscribed with names and dates on the top. To the south is a slab stone memorial to Scott's son, also Walter (died 1847) and his wife. To the east is the tomb of Scott's son-in-law and biographer, John Gibson Lockhart (died 1854), with a bronze cameo portrait.

The King James obelisk, dated 1794, is at NT 59102 31632 to the south of the abbey near the gatehouse. Two sides of this 'needle' type obelisk have inset figurative carvings of King James I and King James II. On the third side is a relief of the abbey's founder, Hugh de Moreville. The fourth side is inscribed 'Erected by the right Hon David Steuart Erskine the Earl of Buchan to the honour of his ancestors 1794. The figures were cut by George Burnet in Newstead and the lettering by D. Forson in Dryburgh by order of Sir David Erskine.'

The headstone of Lord Earl Haig (died 1928) is at NT 59151 31717 in an enclosure formed by the surviving base course of the abbey transept. This simple rectangular memorial stone has regimental insignia insets, cross and inscriptions. Haig's wife is buried beside him and has a similar stone. Further members of the Haig family are also interred within the enclosure.

The burial ground at NT 59142 31732 to the north of the abbey includes a small collection of 17th or 18th century headstones with carved figures holding books. There are further 18th, 19th and 20th century memorial stones including a number of military graves. The Cross of Sacrifice memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1918, was erected in 1929 following Earl Haig's burial at the Abbey in 1928. It has a stylised stone cross with longsword inset. The inscription on the octagonal plinth reads 'This cross of sacrifice is identical with those which stand above the dead of Lord Haig's armies in France and Flanders'.

Statement of Special Interest

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: Scheduled Monument No. 90103.

The internationally celebrated Scottish novelist and antiquarian Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) spent much of his working and private life in the Scottish Borders. He began building Abbotsford House (LB15104) at nearby Tweedbank in 1812, before deciding that Dryburgh Abbey should be his final resting place.

Field Marshall Earl Haig was a descendent of the Halliburtons whose family estate of Bemersyde is to the north of Dryburgh. Haig was commander-in-chief of the British forces during the First World War and oversaw a number of decisive battles. He was made an Earl in 1919 and founded the British Legion in 1921.

The King James obelisk commemorates the foundation of Dryburgh Abbey by Hugh de Moreville in 1150. It is a late 18th century addition to the Dryburgh estate by its then owner, David Steuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan. He inherited Dryburgh Abbey House in 1785 and lived there until his death in 1829. Erskine was an antiquarian and patron of the arts and sciences whose additions to the Dryburgh estate included the Orchard Gate (LB15124) to the north of the abbey, the classical Temple of the Muses (LB15123) beside the River Tweed and a memorial statue to William Wallace (LB15122) on a hill at neighbouring Bemersyde.

Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2017. Previously listed as 'Dryburgh Abbey'.



Canmore: IDs: 254597, 340430, 340431, 254597, 104329


Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1858, published 1862), Berwick Sheet XXX.15 (Merton), 1st Edition, 25 Inches to the Mile. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey (revised 1897, published 1898), Roxburghshire 008.11 (includes: Mertoun; St Boswells), 2nd Edition, 25 Inches to the Mile. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Printed Sources

Cruft, K. Et al (2006) Buildings of Scotland – Borders. London: Yale University Press, p.218-224.

Strang, C. (1994) Borders and Berwick: An Illustrated Architectural Guide. Edinburgh: RIAS, Rutland Square, p.171.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Dryburgh Abbey

Find out more

Related Designations


    Designation Type
    Garden & Designed Landscape
  2. Dryburgh AbbeySM90103

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


Tomb of Sir Walter Scott and family members, Dryburgh Abbey.
King James Obelisk showing carving of King James I of Scotland, with trees to rear, Dryburgh Abbey.

Printed: 25/03/2019 18:40