Enter the Park and note the ornate cast iron gates and railings.
On the left is the lodge house which was built in 1881 as
the entrance lodge for New Gala House. This is quite grand
with its crowstep gables, tall chimneys and entrance porch.
Bear right along the drive which is also part of the Southern
Upland Way. The park is named after the Scott family who gifted
the land to the town in 1939. New Gala House was built in
1872 for the Scott family as a replacement for Old Gala House.
It is ironic that Old Gala House has outlasted its newer namesake,
which was demolished in 1985. The ground around the site is
well wooded and within minutes, you feel as if you are in
the countryside, even although the town is just a short distance
away. Today, the Gala Policies have become a popular walk
with locals for this very reason and there is a rich variety
of wildlife in the Policies.
Every weekday during the school year, pupils of Galashiels
Academy walk through the park to go to school. The Academy
was founded as a private school in 1861 in Bridge Place, although
this was not the first school (a parish school was opened
in Galashiels in 1696). During 1870 it moved to Croft Street
and even though this was later extended, it still proved to
be inadequate. In 1910 the Academy moved to Oaklea, a house
on Melrose Road which was converted into a school building.
The number of pupils continued to grow and, in 1964 the Academy
relocated to its present site. The Melrose Road site was then
taken over by Borders College.
Exit the park through the gates into Livingstone Place, noticing
the local swimming pool on the left which opened in 1984 and,
should you have time, you can enjoy a relaxing swim there.
The laminated timber structure of the building and the pool
having two shallow ends, with a deeper centre, make the design
worthy of note. At the end of Livingstone Place, turn right
again into Scott Street and continue past the park gates to
Scott Crescent. Notice, behind the high wall on your left,
Gala Bowling Club with the pavilion overlooking the green.
Next: Old Gala House