Abbotsford Ferry [1st]

Location type


Name and dates

Abbotsford Ferry [1st] (1856-1895)

Note: text in square brackets is added for clarity and was not part of the location's name.

Opened on the Selkirk and Galashiels Railway.


Boldside and Abbotsford Ferry station was located by the Abbotsford Ferry over the River Tweed. The location is now known as Boleside, after a house built following the opening of the railway.

The ferry was the Boldside Ferry until the opening of the railway, as explained in the Ordnance Survey Name Book of 1858

Two dwellings - one storey in height, occupied by the ferryman, and a fisherman, And the property of Hugh Scott, Esq. There is a ferry at this place,which is widely known as, Boldside ferry, but since the opening of the Selkirk Railway, there is a wayside station, known as 'Abbotsford Ferry' - being so named as an advertisement to tourists intending Visiting Abbotsford, (1½ a miles distant), as it is the only public ferry proximate to it.

This station was probably a halt, rather than a complete station, the Selkirk and Galashiels Railway was built very modestly. The station appears to have initially been to the south west of a level crossing at Boldside directly alongside the ferry with no obvious facilities other than possibly a platform on the north side of the line with a small waiting building. It was also described in the Ordnance Survey name book as
A Small wooden house at Boldside, on the Selkirk Railway, for the convenience of the ferry passengers for Abbotsford &c , Andrew Dun, Stationmaster and ferryman.

A footpath ran east from the ferry to the level crossing.

The company was taken over by the North British Railway in 1859, that company probably taking the decision to enlarge the station some time between 1859 and 1899, the original site being very cramped squeezed between railway and road. See Abbotsford Ferry [2nd]. At this time a waiting room and railway cottage were provided to the east of the level crossing.

The original station site is now a layby and the start of a private road running west.


The Abbots Ford itself is associated with Melrose Abbey and is not at this location but further north. The Abbotsford Ferry was a ferry service, not a ford.

The name Abbotsford was adopted by Sir Walter Scott for the house he built himself to the south of the ford Abbotsford . The station came to be associated with visits to the house, it was actively promoted as the station for the house. It should be noted, however, that the house was over a mile to the north east on the south bank. The Abbotsford Ferry did not run to the house, but across the river.


The Braw Lads Gathering crosses at the original Abbots Ferry.


Station ferry

External links

NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67