Dunmore (St. Andrew’s) School

A school was built to the north of Dunmore Estate to take its workers’ children and was located near to the junction of the main Airth to Stirling road with the Moss Road.  The school was not in existence at the time of the first Statistical Account in the 1790s, but the second Statistical Account of the 1840s mentions two endowed schools and this must have been one of them.  It was probably relatively new at that time and had an Episcopalian ethos, reflected in its name of St Andrew’s School.  The building was rectangular in plan and contained two rooms.  The Ordnance Surveyors in the late 1850s described it as

A commodious school about a mile west of the village of Dunmore.  Average attendance of boys and girls 70.   The usual branches taught.   The master’s salary is £35 a year, given by the Earl of Dunmore, and the school fees.   Property of the Earl of Dunmore, Dunmore Park, Airth.” 

A small sub-post office was attached to its south side and was also the property of Earl of Dunmore.  On the 1897 edition of the Ordnance Survey map it is shown as “Old school.”

Illus: 1860/65 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

In 1875 Catherine Herbert, Countess of Dunmore, commissioned the building of a new school at the south end of Dunmore village as part of her improvements there.  It continued to be owned by the estate and was run by a board of managers.  

Illus: Dunmore School looking north, c1905.

For this reason it was often referred to as “Lady Dunmore’s School” or “Countess Dunmore’s School.”  The building (now Moray Cottage) is dated 1875 and an inscribed stone set in the south facing gable bears the initials “CD” under a coronet for Countess of Dunmore.  It is in the picturesque Tudor style of the village with bracketed broad eaves, barge-boards and a fleche.  The school was comprised of two rooms, each with a coal fire.  They measured 25ft by 15ft 6ins, and 16ft 6ins by 15ft 6ins, with ceiling heights of 18ft.

Illus: Extract from the 1896/1899 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

By 1916 the senior pupils from Dunmore went to Airth Public School and the relatively low standing of Dunmore School is reflected in the following advertisement:

Wanted, School Mistress, to have sole charge of Dunmore Infant School; salary, £30, rising according to scale” .

(Falkirk Herald 16 December 1916, 8)

When the Dunmore Estate was sold off in 1917 the School Board bought Lot 10 – Dunmore School – for £500.  The sales catalogue provided the following details:

The house contains Sitting Room, Kitchen, Scullery, etc., and three bedrooms, Coal House, W.C., and nice garden.  Let to Mr G Smith at an annual rent of £9.  The School contains two Class Rooms, Closets, Coal House and Playground.  Let to the Airth Parish School Board on Yearly tenancy at an Annual Rent of £10.”

Illus: Dunmore School (now Moray Cottage) looking north across the old road into the village.

In 1919 pupils older than ten years were required to go to the public school at Airth.  Dunmore Village School closed on 1 October 1923 and the Property Committee agreed to let or sell the buildings as a private dwelling.  Letting was initially opted for as there remained a vague possibility that the school might need to re-open – that never occurred.

Year ArrivedHeadteacherYear LeftNo. Pupils
1850sThomas B Craig187570
1878George King40
1880sMr Hall70
c1900William Stewart190360
1903Lena Livingstone50
1910sMiss Mitchell52

Sites and Monuments Record

Red Row NS 8777 8985
Dunmore VillageNS 8925 8932

G.B. Bailey, 2023