Upper Kinneil School

Writing in 1843 the Parish minister mentioned that :

There is a school at Upper Kinneil, supported by the tenantry, for the convenience of children in the barony. That the school-fees may be moderate, the Duke of Hamilton allows the teacher a small salary.” ).

(New Statistical Account
Illus: 1855.56 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

Just over ten years later the Ordnance Surveyors described it as :

A small house on the farm of Upper Kinneil used as a school house, where children receive an ordinary English education.  There is an average attendance of about 30 or 40 pupils of both sexes.  The master, Mr Rutherford, derives his salary part from the Duke of Hamilton, part from the Heritors of the adjoining district, and the remainder as school fees from the children together with a free house and garden.” 

James Rutherford provided the Surveyors with the information they needed on the place names of the parish.  He is described by Salmon as:

a big man, but very lame. He was a good, all-round scholar, and was often employed in land measuring. Among other things he taught basket-making. The reeds and willows were gathered in the district by the pupils, many of whom became expert basketmakers.”

On the other side of the road from the school was the smiddy with the traditional spreading chestnut tree and nearby was a quoiting green – so there were plenty of distractions for the children.

The Duke of Hamilton, through his chamberlain, in 1873 offered to convey the school, schoolhouse and garden to the School Board free of rent on condition that his Grace’s trustees were freed from all liability to subsidise the teacher or maintain the buildings.  Upon examining the census the Board reckoned that not more than 30 children would reasonably attend that school, owing to the distance, but in reality 20 of that number could easily attend the Board’s other schools.  The Board therefore refused the offer and the school closed.

Year ArrivedHeadteacherYear LeftNo. Pupils
(1855)James Rutherford
James Dick1873

Sites and Monuments Record

Upper KinneilSMR 2291NS 9760 7934

G.B. Bailey, 2023