Robert Smail’s Printing Works in Innerleithen

Robert Smail's printing works can be found at 7/9 High Street, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders and provides a wonderful opportunity for you to see exactly how printing was completed in the early 19th Century. You can also visit the little gift shop where they have souvenirs, publications on printing and on other interesting topics related to the town and people. Opening times are from Thursday to Monday from 12:00 hours to 17:00 hours but on a Sunday from 13:00 hours to 17:00 hours.

The Robert Smail’s printing works has also made provisions for the disabled giving easy access to the shop and the office. Admission charges for the printing works goes as follows: five pounds for adults or four pounds for special rates, families of two to four persons are charged fourteen pounds, children under five years go in for free and one parent with up to four children will be charged ten pounds (prices subject to change).

The restored printing works will take you an hour to tour and is made up of many rooms where you can view each step of the process and see what type of equipment and technology was needed to complete the final product. You will see an office, a paper store with the original water wheel that has been reconstructed and put to use, as well as the composing and pressrooms. All the machinery there is not only from the early 19th century but it is in working condition, which includes the old printing press that is one hundred years old. You can even make orders for printing and stationary at the Robert Smail’s Printing Works.

You really come out of the printing works with an excellent idea of how it was all achieved. You see the actual printer completing each process using all the necessary equipment that would have been used back then and you can try your own hand at typesetting, which was all done by hand in those days. At times visitors will be given an opportunity to also set up and print their own paper using all the old equipment. There are also posters that you can look at from the archive that the printing works has collected as well as photographs and historical items that are not only related to the printing works but also give you an idea of how the people lived in those days in a small Borders town.

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