Historical thatched cottage where Scots poet was born goes up for sale in the Borders

The charming thatched cottage where an acclaimed Scottish poet with links to Sir Walter Scott was born in the 1700s has gone up for sale in the Scottish Borders.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 1:21 pm

The historical house was the childhood home of Dr John Leyden, a polymath who would go on to learn 40 languages and become a literary great.

It’s not known exactly when it was built but records confirm it was already standing when Leyden was born there in 1775.

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Nestled in a conservation area at the heart of the picturesque village of Denholm, the unique property boasts a tasteful mix of original features and modern facilities.The house’s current configuration has been created from three traditional single-story cottages, with an upper level added recently.

Leyden's Cottage was the birthplace of acclaimed Scottish poet and linguist Dr John Leydon in 1775
Leyden's Cottage was the birthplace of acclaimed Scottish poet and linguist Dr John Leydon in 1775

Much of the 18th-century character and detailing have been preserved, including the thatched reed roof with turf ridge, sash and case windows, an eyebrow dormer window with deep sills, stone-built fire surrounds and exposed timber roof trusses.

Despite its quaint appearance, Leydon’s Cottage is deceptively spacious – boasting three bedrooms, a large living-dining room with impressive stone fire surround and multi-fuel stove, a well-equipped Shaker-style kitchen with modern range cooker and a bathroom on each floor.

The outdoor space provides a colourful flourish.

It includes a sheltering garden to the front with hedging and seating and a half-acre rear garden with planted borders, a large lawn and vegetable garden.

The 18th-century cottage boasts an A-listed thatched roof and retains many period features

It also hosts a fully insulated studio that could be used as a garden office or workshop.

The cottage’s thatched roof – made from water reed instead of the original oat straw with a traditional Scottish turf ridge – is A-listed in its own right and requires ongoing maintenance.

This involved replacing the ridge and ‘combing’ the reeds every 12 years or so.

The entire roof was renewed in 2005 and was re-ridged and dressed in 2016.

The spacious living-dining room benefits from an original stone fireplace and sold-fuel stove

Work carried out to thatched roofing in Scotland is covered under Historic Environment Scotland’s Thatched Property Maintenance Grant scheme, which generally covers half of the total cost.

Denholm, which is listed as a ‘planned village’, sits six miles or so equidistant from Hawick and Jedburgh, 50 miles from Edinburgh and only 16 miles from the English border at Carter Bar.

It is conveniently placed for access to a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, schools, local amenities, historical attractions and places to eat.

Leyden’s Cottage is on the market with Hastings at offers over £285,000, with further details available via the ESPC.

The modern Shaker-style kitchen includes a range cooker and a door out to the garden

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Exposed original timber roof trusses offer period charm in this upstairs bedroom

Editorial Director

The upstairs bathroom is modern exposed roof trusses add period charm
The cottage boasts three bedrooms
A separate studio in the garden could be used as a home office or workshop
Stretching across half an acre, the well-kept back garden has lots of scope and currently boasts a vegetable plot
The iconic thatched cottage sits in a conservation area at the heart of the picturesque village of Denholm in the Scottish Borders, 50 miles from the Scottish capital and just 16 miles from the border with England
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