Set in stunning gardens
Old Gala House
This museum is currently closed.
Set in beautifully maintained grounds near the centre of Galashiels, Old Gala House is an impressive building dating back to 1583. Once home to the Lairds of Galashiels with over 400 years of history, the house is now a vibrant museum and gallery which tells the story of the town and its people.
Galashiels is known 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.
As well as the museum, Old Gala House features several exhibition spaces which showcase a very busy and varied programme 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. It contains superb examples of his work and information on his background.
View our Museum and Gallery guide to find out more about what’s going on across our museums. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at our tourism guide to make the most of your trip to the Borders. Plan your journey with Traveline Scotland.
Plan your visit
The Pringle Café and Gallery is open throughout the day, with a gift shop, free Wi-Fi and a variety of refreshments. The stunning gardens – complete with SiMBA tree of tranquility, picnic benches, fountain and waterfall – are maintained by Gala in Bloom volunteers.
There is disabled access to the ground floor, disabled parking, toilets, baby changing and a hearing loop. Assistance dogs are welcome. There is a fax machine and free access to PCs. There are bike racks and the museum is accessible by public transport. Coach tours are welcome.
Admission is free: donations are welcome.