The ruins of Cessford, a once massive castle between Kelso and Jedburgh, presents a sharp contrast to the gentle farmland surrounding it. The castle was stronghold of the Kers, ancestors of the Duke of Roxburgh and an influential Border family. Cessford was built in the 14th century. It ceased to be a dwelling house in 1650, but was later used as a prison. The Kers were known as being a predominately left-handed family. Consequently, many castles formerly associated with the family have their spiral stairways twisting opposite from most. This was so the upper levels could be more advantageously defended during attacks with swords, giving the left-handed residents more arm room for fighting. The bright yellow crop, seen growing profusely throughout Britain, is oil seed rape. Its primary use is for making canola oil for cooking.
Cessford was built c. 1450 by Andrew Ker, ancestor of Robert Ker, 1st Earl of Roxburghe, and ancestor of the Dukes of Roxburghe. It is from this place that the Duke takes his subsidiary titles: Baron Ker of Cessford, and Marquess of Bowmont and Cessford. It is possible that the castle incorporates parts of an earlier structure.
The Castle is caput of the Barony of Cessford, and the principal stronghold of the Kers/Kerrs, notorious Border Reivers, many of whom served as Wardens of the Middle March.
The castle is equidistant between the Royal Burgh of Jedburgh, and the Burghs of Kelso and Kirk Yetholm, in the historic county of Roxburghshire, now a division of the Scottish Borders.
Jedburgh (/ˈdʒɛdbərə/; Scots: Jeddart/Jethart, is a town and former royal burgh in the Scottish Borders and historically in Roxburghshire.Bishop Ecgred of Lindisfarne founded a church at Jedburgh in the 9th century, and King David I of Scotland made it a priory between 1118 and 1138, housing Augustinian monks from Beauvais in France. The abbey was founded in 1147, but border wars with England in the 16th century left it a ruin.