THE Braw Lad and Braw Lass visited Torwoodlee Tower this week to mark the completion of a £150,000 project to stabilise the historic structure.
On Monday, Greg Robertson and Amy Thomson joined James Pringle, the Laird of Torwoodlee, to raise a glass of Champagne.
The iconic ruin dates back to 1601 and plays a major role in the Braw Lads’ Gathering.
And the work has now been fully completed thanks to grants from the Fallago Environment Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.
Deirdre Cameron, of Historic Environment Scotland was also at the event.
She told us: “They’ve been at it for about two years and they have done a really good job.
“Most of the work has been consolidation – mainly mortar being put around the stones. In some cases they had to take it apart a bit to rebuild to ensure that it would be stable, but they’ve basically worked to ensure the integrity of the walls. It’s a very nice piece of architecture and it’s got that historic basis to it and strong links with the Braw Lads’ Gathering.
“A major factor of us putting money into it is that Mr Pringle came forward with a very good, well thought out, researched and well funded scheme. We were content that if we put money into this we would see really good results.”
Luke Comins, Tweed Forum Director, which manages the Fallago Environment Fund, added: “We provided Torwoodlee Tower with almost half of the total funding required for the conservation project in recognition of the building’s significance in the region and are delighted that the public will again be able to safely enjoy this historic landmark.”
And its not just the developers who are pleased to see the structure nursed back to health.
Braw Lad Greg Robertson said: “Amy and I are delighted to see Torwoodlee Tower in such good health and I hope we can speak for all Galaleans in thanking the Fallago Environment Fund and Historic Environment Scotland for their generosity in helping to maintain the integrity of this iconic tower with such close links to Braw Lads’ Week and the history and heritage of Galashiels.
“The global Pringle Family and many local people deserve our thanks as well for playing their parts in seeing this project to fruition.”
In 2001, Mr Pringle began to look for funding to strengthen the tower and received donations from all over the world.
And the grants have made it all possible. He said: “Torwoodlee Tower has been part of the local landscape for centuries and has a rich and fascinating history.
"We felt it was vital to protect it and are extremely grateful to our biggest funder, the Fallago Environment Fund, and to Historic Environment Scotland and Pringles from across the globe for providing the money required to ensure that the Tower could be made safe for local residents and visitors to the region to look at and admire once again.”