Borders: In Galashiels, on minor road from A7, on south side of Buckholm Hill, near Ladhope Tower, on Scott Crescent, at Old Gala House.
Private NT 492357 OS: 73 TD1 3JS
OPEN: Open Mar-May & Sep, Tue-Sat 10.00-16.00; Jun-Aug, Mon-Sat 10.00-16.00, Sun 1.200-16.00; Oct, Tue-Fri 13.00-16.00, Sat 10.00-16.00. Shop and cafe. Weddings and venue hire.
Tel: 01896 752611 Web: www.scotborders.gov.uk
Old Gala, a rambling mansion, incorporates an altered 16th-century tower house at one end, and an extended T-plan building of 1611 in the middle. There is a painted ceiling, dating from 1635, and
a fine garden. ‘Galasheels’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of Tweeddale.
Old Gala may stand on the site of a 15th-century castle of the Douglases, which was destroyed in 1544. The property was given to the Pringles of Gala, who held the property from 1408, and David Pringle of Galashiels and four of his sons were killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. The property went to the Scotts in 1632, and the following year James Scott of Galashiels had a ratification which mentions the tower, fortalice, mansion, manor place, etc.
A new Gala House was built in 1872 for the Scotts and designed by David Bruce, but this was demolished in 1985. Old Gala House passed to the local council. The Scotts of Gala still flourish, and are recorded as having residences near Gala and in London.
The building is now used as a community and art centre, and there is a museum with displays about the occupants of the house and Galashiels.