Round the Middle of the Town
Leaving from the front of the Town Hall, turn down Woodmarket. The opposite side of the street, where Blair the Jeweller's is, is probably the oldest part of the town, dating from around 1770. The roofline on this block is particularly fine with its crow stepped gables, end on to the street. The buildings next door go right through to Abbey Row, as, originally, did most of the other buildings on that side of Woodmarket.
The Barclay's Bank premises were formerly the premises of the seedsman who developed the Kelsae Onion - Laing & Mather.
The Corn Exchange was a particularly fine building in its heyday, having 71 stalls for the transactions on Market Day. Built in 1855, for the princely sum of £3000, which was raised by subscription, it has an amazing glazed hammer-beam roof. Today, unfortunately, it lies unused and rotting, having spent many years as a carpet and used furniture warehouse, but there are plans for its refurbishment.
Further down, past the former Bank of Scotland building a narrow lane, called Easter Kirk Stile, leads through to Abbey Row. At the end of the lane lies the new Quaker Meeting House, opened in 2001. The row of shops opposite, with their flats above, was refurbished during the 1970's when the whole central block behind the Town Hall was being brought up to modern day standards. The result is a frontage of the Georgian era with modern building behind.
Continuing down to Coalmarket, brings you to the end of Abbey Row and the roads leading to the Butts, The Knowes Kelso Pottery, the Klondyke Garden Centre and the riverside. Opposite is the Police Station, at the end of Cross Street and the Waggon Inn.
Turning left will take you 'round the block' and into Horsemarket.
Going straight on will take you to Shedden Park and the Kelso Cemetery. If you turn right at the cemetery gates, you will come onto the new Hunter's Bridge, built to try to remove most of the heavy traffic from Rennie's Bridge.
Facing you, in Horsemarket is the former Roxy Cinema, which is a converted church, dating originally from the 1790's, but refaced during conversion. Kelso was stuffed full of churches at one time, with every sect, breakaway or not, represented. On the same side as the Roxy is the former Post Office. Soon you are back in the Square.
With the redevelopment of this central section, most of the old tenements, into which were crammed most of the town's population, have gone. Mill and Oven Wynds give some idea of what the town centre must have been like, but even parts of them have been demolished and redeveloped.