Near Kelso Scotland | scottish borders |
Villages near Kelso Scotland

Ednam Scotland

Near Kelso Scotland UK
  |   HOME   |   LOCATION   |   HISTORY   |   FACILITIES   |   CONTACT   |  

Information on the village of Ednam, near Kelso in Scotland.

Ednam Brewery

From the earliest times there was brewing in Ednam. It is believed that the vaults of the brewery were second oldest in age only to Kelso Abbey.

The monks however were not responsible for the setting up of the brewery business; that was done much later by Peter Robertson, a Kelso brewer. He already had a brewery in Kelso Square, but when the local taxes were raised by the stent-masters of the town who fixed them, he decided to set up a new brewery out of their immediate clutches. Their system of taxation seemed to be that those who looked to be well off paid most.

The brewery was set up in 1771, on the banks of the Eden which was an unfailing source of water. At his death, his son, Samuel, who had worked in the business since it had been set up, took over, moving into the brewery house, and letting out his own house, which is now known as Ednam West Mains farmhouse, to Captain Lyte, father of the great hymn writer. Samuel worked hard at the business and was soon sending barrels of his beer to the hostelries of the surrounding villages.

On his death in March 1807, his son, Peter took over. Soon after, in February 1808, there was the first fire. Having rebuilt, Peter stayed in the brewery until 1818 when he decided that farming was more to his taste and he gave up brewing. The Robertsons were a long established Quaker family, the link with the Kelso Quakers being broken by Peter, when, aged 21, he was baptised and became a member of the Church of Scotland.

The brewery lay idle for fifteen years until 1833, when Peter Nichol, son of a Kelso grocer took over, brewing under the name of 'Nichol and Roberton' and later, 'Peter Nichol & Co'. Nigel Roberton, son of Captain Roberton of Pringle Bank, worked in London with a brewery there, and had access to funding and loans to keep the brewery alive. Despite all this support and good will, Peter Nichol could not make a success of the venture, and very much in debt, left for India in 1848.

One of his creditors, John Smith, a Kelso grocer, took up the failed business and sent his son, James out to run the brewery. This James Smith became Chief Magistrate of Kelso and in 1891 became the first Provost of Kelso.

The Smiths gave up the business in 1853, John Stenhouse taking over. He loved Ednam and everything to do with it. He ran the brewery successfully until 1877. He was succeeded by two brothers, John and William Murray, whose energy expanded the output of the brewery, and on the sudden death of John, William continued on his own. In August 1885, however, there was the second great fire. This totally destroyed the whole brewery and there was nothing left to rebuild.

That was the end of a brewery which had run with varying success for over 114 years, and of which there is now no trace. It is as though it had never been.

Back to: Articles about Ednam