Grantshouse History


Grantshouse first appears in the historic map record in the mid-19th century to the immediate north of the North British Railway. It is represented on the 1856 Ordnance Survey map as a range of houses to the north side of an east/west road, one of which is annotated as ‘Grant’s House’ after which the settlement got its name. 

Thomas Grant originated from Nairnshire, with a profitable side-line of selling alcohol to navvies (Crosbie 199). He moved to the Borders and built Grant’s House in around 1816, later converting his house to an Inn (ibid).

By the 1840s, Grantshouse only had six houses, although it was soon to expand with the coming of the railways in 1846, and the tollhouse was set up two years later. Thomas’s son, William Grant, was due to be married to Magdalene Nisbet of Reston and, not wanting to be an innkeeper’s wife, he built an adjacent house -  Ivy Bank - in 1846 with an adjoining shop called ‘Ivy Bank Curios’ and became a shopkeeper for many years (ibid). His father having died, he let the Inn to new landlords. William died in 1888, and the shop was taken over by his nephew Edward Fair.

By the late 19th century, the 1898 Ordnance Survey map shows there has been little expansion of the buildings within the village, although a new Free Church and Manse has been built to the east side.

The railway is now depicted, curving round to the south of Grantshouse with Grantshouse Station linked to the village by a wide road, with another NNW/SSE angled road leading to a footbridge over the railway. This was removed with the construction of the A1. More buildings, including a hotel, have also sprung up to the south side of Main Street. The later 1908 Ordnance Survey map shows few changes from the 1898 map, although a few more buildings have been constructed to the south of Main Street.

Of course it is all different now! There is no longer a railway station, the A1 bypasses the residential areas and the hotel and pub are closed - as is the old school. Although these changes impact the community in a negative way, there is plenty of opportunity to reinvigorate the area. There are a number of successful local businesses and together with a growing number of projects aimed at improving the area Grantshouse has a bright future.