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Selkirk Selkirk is derived from the Auld Scots words 'sheil' and 'kirk' which means 'the church in the forest'. Selkirk was the location and ancient seat in the Ettrick Forest for Scottish Kings and was given Royal status in the twelfth century.
Selkirk, on the edge of the Ettrick Forest, once had its own castle and, for a short period in the twelfth century, an Abbey, although this was later moved to Kelso. Selkirk was given vast tracts of burgh ground by the Scottish Kings, some of which are still owned by the town, administered by Scottish Borders Council; the Marches had to be defended against encroachment by neighbours.
During the middle ages, there was a large cottage industry in Selkirk including spinning and weaving of cloth. The large mill buildings housed the Selkirk’s tweed industry following the Industrial Revolution, although the tweed industry today has virtually disappeared completely from the town.
The twin valleys of Ettrick and Yarrow provide some of the most stunning landscapes in the Scottish Borders; St Mary’s Loch, the largest stretch of water in Southern Scotland, is only 18 miles away from Selkirk. The two valleys accommodate a wide range of activities encompassing cycling, walking, fishing and horse-riding.