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Town Trail

Burgh School (15)

The Parliament in Edinburgh passed Acts in 1633 and 1696 which obliged every Burgh Council to provide funding for free education within their area and this led to the establishment of Burgh Schools. Views were expressed in Gala that education for those who worked in the mills was a waste of time. The Reverend Paterson even said "there can be no training of the volatile minds of youth equal to that which is maintained at the factories". The Burgh School was built in 1874 and extended in 1895, at which time the school roll was in the order of 920 pupils. Most of the children were from the newly erected housing in the area from Gala Park to Scott Street.

Turn left down Bank Street Brae, known locally as Round Tree Brae. Near here there was once a tree, which local legend claims was the haunt of fairies or "little people" and also of a "ghostly white lady". This street slopes down to Bank Street and is essentially a bridge over part of the lade system which powered many of the mills in Gala. At the junction with Bank Street is a pair of red sandstone lamp pillars with the Burgh Crest carved on them. The right hand one also has a carved inscription but the crests on the pillars are unfortunately losing their detail due to weathering.

On the left is the site of Waulkmillhead Mill, a small building compared to the giants of later years. The last owner, Dr Oliver, set up a trust for the benefit of students at the Scottish Woollen Technical College, the forerunner of the Scottish College of Textiles. The trust sold the building to the Council in 1947. The Town Council demolished the mill in 1949 and, in accordance with the trust's conditions that the area should not be built upon, the ground was incorporated into Bank Street Gardens in the early 1950s.

Turn right into Bank Street, Gala's second shopping street.

Next: Bank Street Gardens

The Burgh School
Historical Background
Where to Start
(1) Scott Park
(2) Old Gala House
(3) Old Parish & St Paul's Church
(4a) The Tolbooth and Cloth Hall
(4b) The Mercat Cross
(5) Tea Street
(6) Old Burial Ground
(7) St Peter's Episcopal Church & School
(8) Burgh Buildings
(9) Public Library
(10) Market Square
(11) Church of Our Lady & St Andrew
(12) Post Office
(13) Former Co-op Building
(14) Glasite Chapel
(15) Burgh School
(16) Bank Street Gardens
(17) Volunteer Hall
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