This town has a small, yet inviting community filled with charm. High Street is the main artery of this vibrant village with its vast array of retail shops, cafes, and galleries. Off of this bustling thoroughfare are a series of alleyways and narrow streets. To the uninitiated, they conceal some of the town’s backstory and hidden treasures.
Pennels Close is just one fine example of this phenomenon. This small passage was named after a shopkeeper by the name of George Pennel, who for several generations, supplied the town and visitors with bicycles. What makes this backstreet so unique is that it contains a brightly covered panel that illustrates the town’s history. It starts with the village’s founding in the 12th century by King David on the right, working its way across to a futuristic family enjoying the many sites on the High Street.
The massive work of art was painted by American-born and local resident Michael Jessing and unveiled in 2015. The mural was a collaborative effort between Jessing, members of the community, and the Tweeddale Youth Action organization.
Included in the courtyard is an interpretation panel to inform viewers of the various scenes depicted. This includes a depiction of Peebles’ most famous resident John Buchan, author of The 39 Steps.