St Aidans Church and Church Hall, Gala Park, Galashiels

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
St Aidans Church and Church Hall
Other Name(s)
St Cuthbert's Church; South United Presbyterian Church
Gala Park, Galashiels
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NT 4909 3606
Location Type
HS Reference No


Rectangular-plan, Middle Pointed Gothic church with prominent tower and octagonal spire to E corner and integral hall to S corner of plan. 3 bays to centre (N elevation) with quatrefoil rose window in hoodmoulded pointed arch over equilateral arched main doorway with further pitched and carved hoodmould above flanked by pointed lancet windows and smaller doors to outer bays. 2-light quatrefoil plate tracery and lower pointed tripartite lancet windows to sides; rose window to S gable. Square-plan 4-stage tower with attached single storey piended bell ringers chamber; shouldered buttresses; slender pointed arcades to louvres and windows at 3rd and 4th stages; squared and gablet pointed pinnacles to base of octagonal stone spire. Small hall to SE with later linking section to 1939 halls. Course rubble whinstone; blonde sandstone quoins and margins. Moulded string courses. Fine interior.

HALL: 5-bay rectangular-plan steeply pitched roofed hall with lower ancillary rooms linking to church at NE corner. Rendered. Horizontal timber multi-pane windows; slate roofs; rendered gable stacks. Hall interior: timber floors, boarded to dado height, glazed timber three panel doors.

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. St Aidans Church is a good example of an unaltered later 19th century gothic church with a finely detailed interior and fine stone detailing particularly evident in the tower and spire which stand as a prominent landmark over the centre of the town.

The church was built by the Edinburgh firm of Thornton Shiells and Thomson, a large domestic practice, as the South United Presbyterian Church at a cost of £5000. The designs were exhibited twice at the Royal Academy (1880 and 1885). St Aidans is thought to have been designed by Robert Thornton Shiells (1833-1902), primarily a church architect, who trained under David Bryce. Shiells is known to have designed a good number of churches for the United Presbyterian Church, of which St. Aidans is seen as a fine example.

The church was consecrated in August 1880 and has remained in ecclesiastical use since then. It was renamed St Aidan's in 1981.

The later halls were requisitioned by the military for use as a canteen during the war. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry)
Building Dates
1880; Hall c.1939
Robert Thornton Shiells; Hall by Lorimer and Matthew

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
02/04/2009, 22/07/2011, 3/8/2016
Development History
April 2009: External inspection finds that the church is vacant with the windows boarded over at ground level.
June 2009: Local planners report that the building is proposed for conversion to flatted development including demolition of the church hall. Appl. ref: 08/01208/LBC. A decision on the application will be taken at the next meeting of the planning committee.
August 2009: The Southern Reporter notes that the planning committee of Scottish Borders Council has approved plans for the redevelopment of the site and conversion to housing with demolition of the church hall. Listed building consent is still to be approved by the Scottish Government.
July 2011: External inspection finds some deterioration in the church since the last site visit - rear windows are not wind and watertight, glazings broken elsewhere and gutters are clogged. The church hall though generally sound has clogged and broken gutters and is encroached upon by trees and other vegetation. The site is being marketed for sale as a development opportunity through appointed agent Lindsay's.
9 July 2014: Full Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for the conversion of the former church to form 11 flats with the erection of a block of 5 flats are currently being sought. The applications include the demolition of the associated church hall ref: 14/00750/FUL & 14/00751/LBC.
3 August 2016: External inspection finds the rose window to the rear is now sealed over. Security fencing has been erected to the front elevation. There is a general increase in vegetation around the site. Otherwise, the building appears to be in much the same condition as seen previously. Full Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for the demolition of the hall and conversion of the church to form flats alongside new build flats, were conditionally approved Oct 2015 ref: 14/00750/FUL & 14/00751/LBC.
9 August 2016: Listed Building Consent for demolition of the church and hall is being sought ref: 16/00860/LBC.
8 February 2017: Listed Building Consent for the demolition of the church & hall has been withdrawn (16/00860/LBC).
1 November 2017: The former church and associated hall are being marketed for sale as a development opportunity. Offers in the region of £80,000 are being sought through appointed agents DM Hall.
13 April 2018: Listed Building Consent for the demolition of the church and associated hall is being sought ref: 18/00309/LBC.
13 November 2018: Consent for demolition was conditionally approved Sept 2018. Risk raised to Critical. The site does not appear to be under marketing at this time.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01835 826563


Current Availability
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Online Resources
Churches and Chapels
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit