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Selkirk Miniature collection was Duke's 'obsession'

The Duke of Buccleuch with one of the miniature pieces and a £2 coin Credit: ITV Border

A collection of miniature portraits on display in Selkirk came to the Borders due to the obsession of a Duke that once lived at Bowhill House.

Walter Francis, the fifth Duke of Buccleuch, collected the tiny paintings in the 19th century.

There are around 750 of them still at the stately home, which are on display in special cabinets during July.

The current Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, said they are there thanks to his ancestor's obsession with miniature portraits:

'He and his wife Charlotte Anne began collecting in the 1830's, and they went on throughout their married life, he didn't die until 1884, and they bought huge quantities.

There are over 750 still in the collection now, we have got the bills, they bought 10 here, 20 there, and I think they were absolutely intrigued as to who these people were.'

Mini masterpieces on display in Selkirk

A rare collection of miniature portraits has gone on display at a stately home in Selkirk.

The exhibition of tiny masterpieces was unveiled by the Duke of Buccleuch at his Selkirk seat, Bowhill House.

The miniatures are considered to be the most important collection in private hands, excepting the Royal Collection.

They include the famous unfinished portrait of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper.

The Buccleuch Collection will be exhibited at Bowhill House during July for visitors to enjoy.

The unfinished portrait of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper Credit: ITV Border
The miniature Portraits in specially made display cabinets Credit: ITV Border
A portrait of Queen Elizabeth is one of the smallest in the collection Credit: ITV Border

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Scheme begins to restore traditional buildings

A conservation scheme in Selkirk is beginning repairs on its first traditional building this week.

The Selkirk Conversation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) will begin work on an empty building at 59 High Street. Repairs to the walls, roof and chimney will be carried out using traditional materials and techniques.

'The aim of the Scheme is to ensure that issues with the built heritage of the town centre are addressed, and where possible enhanced, to make Selkirk an even more attractive location for both the local community and visitors.

“This first grant has been awarded to an important property in the town centre which has been left vacant and in poor condition for many years. The Selkirk CARS funding will help the building to be repaired in an appropriate manner and remove a blight within the town.'

– Colin Gilmour, Selkirk CARS Project Officer

The scheme is funded by Historic Scotland and Scottish Borders Council.

Scottish Cabinet visits Selkirk

First Minister Alex Salmond is in the Scottish Borders Credit: PA

The First Minister is holding a Scottish Cabinet meeting in the Scottish Borders.

It is the 30th Cabinet meeting to be held outside of Edinburgh and the third to be held in the Borders.

Following the Cabinet meeting, the public will have the chance to put questions to Alex Salmond at Victoria Halls.

Jedburgh and Selkirk sheriff courts could be saved

A study that recommended the sheriff courts in Jedburgh and Selkirk be allowed to remain open has been approved by the Scottish Court Service Board.

The feasibility report concluded the best way to keep an integrated justice service in the Borders would be to keep the courts in the two towns, which have up until now been threatened with closure.

The study will be considered by the Scottish Borders Council at its meeting later this week.

“I welcome the feasibility study conclusions, reached after extensive dialogue with a wide range of justice organisations on future justice services in the Scottish Borders. I am confident this gives us a solid platform to deliver the best services for the people of the Scottish Borders.

“The feasibility study shows that while it is right we test the concept of justice centres it equally important it is that we tailor approaches that are right for local communities, and we will continue with this approach as we consider Justice Centres in other locations”

– Eric McQueen, Scottish Court Service Chief Executive

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Lost village uncovered near Selkirk

A village that seems to have been lost in history has been uncovered near Selkirk.

Archaeologists have found what they believe are the remains of a medieval settlement, dating as far back as the 14th century.

Artefacts and stone walls have been discovered at the site of a battlefield at Philiphaugh.

But, as Jenny Longden reports, there's no mention of a village there in the history books:

'Lost village' discovered near Selkirk

Stones, cobbles and artefacts discovered by archaeologists near Selkirk are most likely to belong to a lost village dating from between the 14th and 16th centuries.

The discoveries were made during a Scottish Water project to lay a new water main at Philiphaugh. The location is also within the site of the 1645 Battle of Philiphaugh, though historical accounts of the battle make no mention of a village in the area.

The investigations by GUARD Archaeology Limited have uncovered the foundations of stone built structures, cobbled farmyards and the foundations of walls, buildings and hearths.

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