Every May, the ancient coaching Inn at Mosspaul is the setting for a colourful Borders tradition.

Back in 1901, a group of far sighted Hawick businessmen celebrated the re-opening of the roadside retreat marking the line between Roxburghshire and Dumfries-shire after a 36 year absence by welcoming Mosstroopers of the day. Ever since, the Ancient Order of Mosstroopers, their Cornet and mounted supporters have continued to visit the site each year.

The original inn, with stabling for 42 horses, dates back to around 1750, when it provided a staging post for mail coaches on the Edinburgh to Carlisle route.

Nowadays, it still provides a welcome retreat for those lured by it's extensive facilities and perfect location for exploring all that the Scottish Borders has to offer.

Writing to Scott later from Grasmere, the poet himself recalled: "The whole of the Teviot and the pastoral steeps about Mosspaul pleased us exceedingly."

The celebrated statesman, William Ewart Gladstone and his wife were also known to have stayed at Mosspaul.

Early 19th Century businessmen pressing for the reopening of the Inn observed: Situated at the bracing altitude of nearly 900 feet above sea level, and in a district strongly recommended by medical men as a health resort, the promoters believe that an hotel possessing so many unique attractions, will have many residents, and will at once become a favourite resort for those in search of health or on holiday,"

Research has revealed that Mosspaul was mentioned in the early 17th Century Charters of the Earl of Home and, in even earlier times, was a chapel welcoming pilgrims and families for marriage and christening ceremonies.

The first landlord to warrant a namecheck in documentation of the day was Thomas Gray who, in 1803, appeared on a list of local men ready to take up arms against French invaders.

Visitors have included celebrated poet William Wordsworth, returning from a tour of Scotland in 1803 with his sister Dorothy which had included a visit to Sir Walter Scott. They did little, however, to boost the coffers of the custodians!

In her diary Miss Wordsworth recalled: "At Mosspaul we fed our horse; several travellers were drinking whisky. We neither ate nor drank, for we had, with our usual foresight and frugality in travelling, saved chees, cakes and sandwiches which had been given us by our country woman at Jedburgh the day before."

History of the inn