Saturday, 20 February 2016

Mary Queen of Scots House, Jedburgh, Scotland

Mary, Queen of Scots' House is a museum in Jedburgh devoted to Marie Stuart opened in 1987, on the 400th anniversary of her death. An amateur video is at the foot of this page.

Although there is some debate as to whether this was indeed the fortified house she was taken to, it is believed that she stayed here, where she was gravely ill after riding 30 miles to Hermitage and back in one day to visit James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell who was himself seriously wounded, and falling into a bog on the way home.

This house belonged to the Kerrs of nearby Ferniehirst Castle (where it is likely she may have been cared for instead). The house has an interesting feature, a left-handed staircase built for the Kerrs (who were left-handed) in the 16th century, to enable them to wield their sword more easily.

The house displays memorabilia of Mary including jewellery, belongings, documents and paintings, and a watch which Mary lost in a bog and was found again 250 years later in a mole hill!

Mary's death on the execution block, at the hand of Queen Elizabeth was characterised by her dignity, bearing and composure.