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James Thomson Memorial

A prominent obelisk located on Ferneyhill, a modest summit a quarter-mile (0.5 km) northeast of Kelso Racecourse in the Scottish Borders, this memorial commemorates poet James Thomson (1700-48), author of The Seasons and the words to Rule Britannia, who was born in Ednam, a half-mile (1 km) to the north northeast. Constructed 1819-20 by the Smiths of Darnick, a noted family of Borders masons, the B-listed monument is of dressed buff sandstone and rises to 15.8m (52 feet). The designer may well have been James Craig (1744-95), best known for laying out Edinburgh's New Town, who was Thomson's nephew and is known to have proposed the building of an obelisk in his uncle's memory near Ednam in the 1790s. It was funded by the Ednam Club who, for many years, met annually to celebrate Thomson's birthday. The path to the monument was improved and an interpretation panel installed in 2008 by Ednam, Stichill and Berrymoss Community Council, funded by the National Lottery Awards for All.


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