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Old Gala House

Set in beautiful gardens in the heart of Galashiels, Old Gala House is an extraordinary building dating back to the sixteenth century. Once home to the Lairds of Galashiels, the house is now a vibrant museum and gallery which tells the story of the town and its people.

Galashiels is famous for its textile mill industry and Reivers heritage, and the museum brings to life vibrant tales of the town, such as the story behind its ‘soor plooms’ motto. The museum takes you from the house’s historical roots as home to the Pringle family, with its painted ceiling dating from 1635, right through to its present day role in Galashiels, with information on the ‘Braw Lads Gathering’. This happens every year in the town and is based on a poem written by Robert Burns about Galashiels.

Old Gala House features exhibition spaces which host a busy and diverse selection of contemporary arts and crafts exhibitions. The Clapperton Room also hosts a permanent exhibition dedicated to locally-born sculptor, Thomas Clapperton (1879-1962), famous for the London Liberty Store frieze and ‘Border Reiver’ war memorial. Here you can see examples of his work and discover his life story.

Check out the Live Borders Museum and Gallery guide to find out more about what’s going on across their museums. 

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