The Conservation Area of Galashiels includes almost all the historic valley basin of the town. This part of Galashiels contains a great number, and range of style, of buildings that gives the town its special character.
The town of Galashiels derives its name from its location – “dwellings by the Gala Water”.
The Galashiels Conservation Area is based around the valley basin, and takes in Bank Street, High Street, Overhaugh Street, Bridge Street and Channel Street along with a number of linking streets.
The majority of the main streets run along the valley bed, northwest to southeast. The most important visual focal points are the Bank Street Gardens and around the Cornmill Square.
The majority of traditional buildings range from two, two and a half, three, and three and a half storeys depending on their location.
Building materials range from whin and sand stone, harling and slate. There are many significant features and architectural details within the Conservation Area which should be preserved - these range from moulded hoods above doorways, sandstone quoins and rybats and ‘nepus’ chimneys (a gabled chimney that is centred on the front elevation).
Window styles and types also vary considerably, sash and case, tripartite windows, oriels (bay windows at upper levels), transom lights as well as many dormers of various types.
In addition some original cobbles remain, and the alleys and vennels are also important features that should be retained.
Many properties sited on corners have been built as features in themselves. Examples of this are found at 112 High Street, and at the corner of Channel Street and High Street. While these elements of the built fabric may not appear to be significant in isolation, their collective contribution to the Conservation Area is considerable.
There are currently 32 listed properties within the Galashiels Conservation Area.