Saltoun Hall’s history stretches back to the 12th century when there was a tower or castle here in the hands of the De Morville family. It was Hugh de Morville who founded Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders. By 1260 the estate was in the hands of the Abernethy family and they became Lords of Saltoun in 1445 and remained so for almost 400 years. In 1643 the estate was bought by Andrew Fletcher and still remains in the Fletcher family.
Sadly the grounds of the Hall, with old yew avenues and groves fell into neglect in the last century or so and when recently inherited, work began to tidy it. Yews which were part of an avenue and planted on an embankment, show how they have been left unhindered for some time; layering branches which stretch far away from the trunk in an attempt to improve photosynthesis capability. It is thought these yews belong to changes made on the estate at the beginning of the 19th century meaning they are around 200 years old.
Unfortunately, in the process of improving the estate, a yew thought to be 400 years old was felled by the Forestry Commission. Another yew thought to be the same age was still standing intact in 2017 but around it the felling of other yews was taking place, though they were clearly in a diseased and poor condition. It is not known what state the felled yew was in but there is no indication it was in any other condition than the one still standing. Given the estate changed hands in 1643 it is likely that the remaining yew and the one felled belong to the changes at that time made then by the Fletcher family.