Stow & Fountainhall

The local authority Parish of Stow stretches from Crookston (near Heriot) to Bowland, and has two main centres of population: Stow and Fountainhall.

Stow, or more properly, Stow of Wedale, is a small village of around 700 people, nestling in a bend of the Gala Water valley in the Scottish Borders. The origins of Stow are lost in legend and time, with King Arthur said to have founded a chapel at the holy well nearby which became an important medieval place of pilgrimage. Certainly, overlooking the valley can be seen the earthworks of the early hillforts from over two thousand years ago.


Fountainhall – with a population of 280, Fountainhall is a small community with its own school and village hall. It supports a thriving WRI and is strongly linked to the farming community. Lying just a couple of miles to the north of Stow, Fountainhall comes together with Stow as one community enjoying many social and economic links with Heriot and Galashiels.

2 Responses

  1. Carol Waddle
    Carol Waddle June 26, 2023 at 4:49 pm | | Reply

    I understand that Stow of Wedale is the home of the Waddel/Waddle family (clan?). I would love to find any local information about our family for my children. Recently I visited your beautiful country for the first time, but was on a tour which didn’t allow me to come to Stow. I hope to return on my own to visit soon, but would so appreciate any contact information or tips you could provide until then.
    Most Sincerely,
    Carol Waddle
    Ohio, USA

    1. Gordon Stewart
      Gordon Stewart August 1, 2023 at 1:40 pm | | Reply

      Hello Carol,

      Thanks for your message. There are a number of different theories about the origin of your last name, including that it stemmed from our old valley name of Wedale. Whether this is true or not is not so certain! However, there’s a lot of information about how to trace your Scottish ancestry at the National Records of Scotland here. For more information about Stow and the Gala Valley, you may like to contact the Stow Parish Archive, although they are not able to provide specific genealogical searches. You’d be very welcome to visit on your next trip to Scotland. Good luck with your researches!

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