Charlie's Monument

When you enter Coldstream from the English side, you will see a huge statue. If you need more information, please read on.........

(Research and Copyright with Coldstream and District Local History Society)

Charles Marjoribanks had a major impact on Coldstream and its citizens. Locals and visitors cannot miss the magnificent, and iconic, seventy feet high monument towering over the Braeheads beside Monument Cottage and overlooking the river Tweed. This was made by H. Ritchie of Edinburgh. By all accounts, Charles Marjoribanks was a fine man and his endeavours are mentioned in other chapters. The monument was erected in 1834 and the inscription reads:

‘Erected by the Numerous Friends of Charles Marjoribanks Esq MP for the County of Berwick, 3rd son of Sir John Marjoribanks Bart of the Lees to Perpetuate their admirations of his Talents, Amiable Qualities and Political Principles and to commemorate the triumphant victory obtained by the Independent and Liberal Electors of Berwickshire AD 1832’.

Charles Marjoribanks was the first Liberal MP for Berwickshire after the Reform Act of 1832 which opened up politics and voting rights to a wider audience than hitherto. The monument does not record the dates of his birth or death because it was erected by jubilant Liberals during his lifetime. Charles was the son of Sir John Marjoribanks of the Lees, who became the Lord Provost of Edinburgh. Standing proudly today, exempt from the inevitable threats of lightning strikes because he is protected by a lightning conductor, ‘Charlie’ has not always been safe. In fact, he came a ‘cropper’ in 1873 when a lightning bolt shattered the structure. He was replaced the following year with a 4 ton structure created by the Border sculptor, Mr Currie of Darnick. When travelling home from a European holiday, on leaving Cornhill and desperate to get home for a cup of tea, the sight of Charlie’s Monument in the distance is one to behold. It of course denotes home, and also signals the close proximity of Scotland. The site is managed and owned by Ladykirk Estate. 

For visitors to Coldstream, please stop and have a look at Charlie, wander along the pathways on the banks of the river Tweed and enjoy the views. Locals often say "Charlie is facing the wrong way".