Abbey House, which houses the Melrose Tourist Information Office, has at its core a much-altered defensive tower.
When exactly the old tower was built isn’t known, however it is most likely that it pre-dates the Reformation of the 16th century and post-dates the Wars of Independence of the 14th century. Roughly square in plan, it consisted of two storeys with thick walls and may have had an external stair tower. It was probably built as protection for Melrose Abbey nearby.
The castle was extended from the east gable and converted into a house around the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18th centuries, with the join between the old and new masonry clearly visible on the north and south walls.
The house was extensively remodelled around 1800, with the first floor of the tower turned into a drawing room. During the 20th century several parts of the building were repaired or rebuilt using brick rather than stone.
In 2007 a small section of the exterior west wall of the house collapsed which afforded archaeologists the opportunity to examine the construction of the wall. It was found to contain structural remains consistent with a medieval square tower, with speculation that some of the wall may even pre-date that structure.
Today Melrose Tourist Information Office is located within Abbey House.