Located 3 miles (5 km) southeast of Melrose in the old county of Roxburghshire, St Boswells is also known as Lessuden and lies adjacent to Newtown St Boswells. The village may be named for St Bosiel and was well known for having Scotland's largest village green (16 ha / 40 acres), for the region's largest livestock fair, and for holding the Buccleuch Hunt. Notable buildings include the early 19th Century pink sandstone kennels of the Buccleuch Hunt, the red sandstone villas of the Croft (1870s), Braeheads House (c.1908) by F. William Deas, and Lessuden House (17th century) which has been the family house of the Scotts of Raeburn.
Nearby stand the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey (12th century) which include a rose window and the burial sites of Sir Walter Scott and Field-Marshal Earl Haig. The village of Bowden (2 miles / 3 km west) possesses a very early church (1128) which includes a 17th century 'laird's loft' carved with the arms of the Cavers Kerr family.