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Galafoot House (Power House), Galafoot Waste Water Treatment Plant, Galafoot Road

A Category C Listed Building in Galashiels, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6069 / 55°36'24"N

Longitude: -2.776 / 2°46'33"W

OS Eastings: 351210

OS Northings: 635078

OS Grid: NT512350

Mapcode National: GBR 931L.TX

Mapcode Global: WH7WP.BBBK

Plus Code: 9C7VJ64F+PJ

Entry Name: Galafoot House (Power House), Galafoot Waste Water Treatment Plant, Galafoot Road

Listing Name: Galafoot Road, Galafoot Waste Water Treatment Plant, Galafoot House (Power House), Laboratory and Office Block and Ancillary Buildings

Listing Date: 14 November 2006

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399215

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50689

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Galashiels

County: Scottish Borders

Town: Galashiels

Electoral Ward: Galashiels and District

Traditional County: Roxburghshire

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Description

Dated 1910 with later additions. Complex of sewage works buildings with related tanks and systems.

POWER HOUSE: Dated 1910. 2-storey, 7-bay, T-plan power house, to W of site. Advanced crowstepped gabled central entrance bay; plaque depicting the fox and plum tree crest of Galashiels inscribed '1337-sour plums'. Arched windows to gable ends. Coursed whinstone, smooth red sandstone quoins and margins. Base course; banded eaves course. 6-, 15- and 18-pane metal casement windows; slate roofs; crowstepped gables; beaked skewputts; crested clay ridge tiles; cast-iron rainwater goods.

LABORATORY AND OFFICE BLOCK: 1- and 2-storey, 3-bay, piended-roof, L-plan office and laboratory; tripartite windows to gables of lower laboratory section; later brick and glazed porch to re-entrant angle; separate door to laboratory (SE); c1980s extension to rear (NE). Coursed whinstone, smooth red sandstone quoins and margins. Base course; banded eaves course. Predominantly 6-pane over plate glass timber sash and case windows; slate roofs; crested clay ridge tiles and finials; distinctive corniced blue glazed brick stacks with terracotta cans. Cast-iron gutters neatly formed to eaves course.

ANCILLARY BUILDINGS: 3-bay range: blue glazed brick with banded and dentilled eaves detail; sandstone margins and crowstepped gables with beaked skewputts; slate roofs. Small 1-bay square plan glazed brick pump house in similar style with piended-roof and 9-pane fixed metal casements.

Statement of Interest

The waste water treatment buildings form a significant group with a distinctive cohesive style and make a strong contribution to the early modern 20th century history of Galashiels, ultimately becoming a model waste disposal system to be copied by other local burghs.

Proposals for a town sewage disposal system were first mooted in 1879 over concern over the lack of drainage system in the town and the increased amount of industrial effluent, much of which was flushed untreated into the Gala Water. The proposals were in direct competition for local funding with the proposed extension to the existing Burgh Buildings which local councillors were proposing to expand. The disagreement ultimately resulted in the resignation of all the existing town councillors and replacement with new councillors in favour of a new sewage system, who were elected in 1903 under Provost Rutherford. An enquiry held in 1907 ended in a Parliamentary Order in 1908 approving the proposals for a new sewage system for the town.

Burgh engineers formed the plans for the scheme from 1908, and the main works were completed by 1912 at a cost of around £70,000. The buildings on the Galafoot site were constructed in 1910 as an integral part of this major development. The following few years saw the connection of all dwellings in the town to the sewage system; Galashiels subsequently became an example to other local Burghs who had yet introduced waste disposal systems.

Subsequent agreements were made with local manufacturers for industrial waste to be treated through the council's sewers at prescribed charges.

The sewage disposal works at Galafoot were modernised in 1961/64 and further works in 1975 included the improvement and expansion of the whole system. The Galafoot plant and associated buildings are still in use today as the main sewage treatment plant for the Burgh.

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