"Earlston appears to have been a place of considerable importance during the early years of Scottish History. It was frequently, indeed, a royal residence.
During a visit in June 1136, David I subscribed there the foundation charter of Melrose Abbey, and in 1143 his son, Prince Henry, subscribed, also “at Ercheldu” the confirmatory charter of the same abbey. Among local barons the family of Lindsay held at first the chief position. Then the Earls of March and Dunbar come upon the scene, and remain for some time the real owners and lords of Ercildoune.
But they in turn pass away, and so now, of the very extensive territory in Lauderdale and the Merse formerly belonging to this old Border house, not a single acre is held by an immediate representative of the family.
In the village of Ercildoune, at the east end, they had a stronghold for long known as the Earl’s Tower, but now demolished, and a group of buildings close at hand, probably remnants of feudal residences, was called Earl's Toun.
From this circumstance the original name of Ercildoune or Ercheldun (look-out or prospect hill) gradually blended into the growing Earl’s Toun, which modern usage has transformed into one word - Earlston. "
One of the oldest images of Earlston in a sketch of the High Street
with the distinctive building of the old Courtroom.
With thanks to Jeff Price of the Auld Earlston Group for spotting this article.