Museums and galleries back on track

Jedburgh Castle Jail sign.Jedburgh Castle Jail sign.
Jedburgh Castle Jail sign.
The phased reopening of Live Borders’ Museums and Galleries continues this month.

Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum opens on Monday, July 19.

The jail – an imposing building where visitors can explore what life was like in the 1820s prison – is built on the site of the old Jedburgh Castle, while the town’s museum, formerly the Jailer’s house, tells the story of the Royal Burgh of Jedburgh from ancient times, with exhibitions and displays focused on the town’s rich history.

Old Gala House, the original residence of the Lairds of Galashiels, reopens on Friday, July 23, with two brand new shows: ‘At Home’ by Caroline Ann Mordue, a series of brand new paintings showing the artist’s response to lockdown and a changed perspective of her immediate surroundings; and ‘The Old Gala Club Revisits 1970’ which gives a glimpse into what life was like in Galashiels in 1970 and how times have changed since then.

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A beautiful and impressive building dating back to the 16th century, Old Gala House sits within peaceful gardens and through a varied programme of exhibitions and informative displays, brings to life vibrant tales of the town from its historical roots to the present day.

St Ronan’s Wells Visitor Centre in Innerleithen and Tweeddale Museum in Peebles open on Monday, July 26.

Visitors to St Ronan’s Wells can enjoy local history including a permanent exhibition which explains the town’s literary connections to Sir Walter Scott – particularly relevant in the anniversary year of his birth – and James Hogg, as well natural science and museum displays.

The grounds, with sculptures, picnic areas and a new fairies and elves-themed free garden trail, overlook the stunning Leithen valley and provide a welcome space for relaxation.

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Tweeddale Museum and Gallery is housed in a historic building dating back to the 16th century. The striking building now hosts a vibrant museum and gallery with permanent displays and changing exhibitions showcasing the best of the Borders and beyond, ranging from visual arts through textiles to historical interest. It opens with a fresh new display exploring the history of the Peebles area as well as monthly themed walks.

Coldstream Museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the town and its people including the story of the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards from the 17th century to the present day.

It reopens on Thursday, July 29, and will showcase work by local artist Jonathan Jones through his exhibition ‘Light in the Landscape’ which portrays the landscapes of the Borders, Northumberland and further afield. His work features dramatically-lit big rural skies that depict the character of his favourite subjects.

Shona Sinclair , museums and galleries curator at Live Borders, said: “We are delighted to announce the next phase of the reopening of our museums with a fascinating mix of popular permanent displays as well as new exhibitions, activities and events.

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“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our staff and customers, while at the same time delivering a great visitor experience.

"By adopting a phased approach to reopening with Covid-secure measure in place, we’re confident we can do that.”

Admission to all attractions is free, but donations are welcome to support Live Borders’ charitable aims.

Opening times vary across each venue and pre-booking is essential. Tickets and time-slots are available through the Live Borders website

Sir Walter Scott’s Courtroom in Selkirk and Borders Textile Towerhouse and Hawick Museum in Hawick, also operated by Live Borders, reopened on June 26, June 28 and July 1 respectively.

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