The statue of the Border Reiver at Galashiels.

The name Galashiels is derived from shiels or shielings which means dwellings, this is usually preceded by a place or personal name, hence Galashiels means dwellings by the Gala Water. The first recorded reference to the town was in 1124, during the reign of David I, contained in a charter where it was referred to as Galche.

By 1467 there was evidence of a skilled community in the town as court records tell of several local people being fined, among them were smiths, wheelwrights, foresters and spaders (involved with canon carriages).

The Earl of Douglas granted the lairdship of Galashiels to the Pringle family who eventually built Old Gala House.

At the Battle of Flodden the Laird of Galashiels and four of his five sons were killed so that the fifth son, who had been left behind, became the next Laird. The last direct descendant of the Pringle family was female and when she married a Scott who then became the Lairds of Galashiels.

Galashiels has long been associated with the textile trade and the first references to three fulling mills in the town can be traced back to 1585





The town has long been associated with producing fine woollens and there is a mill open to visitors and offering a range of woollens for sale.

The town is a good centre for golf and fishing.