Dunipace Parochial School

The original centre of Dunipace lay at the east end of the parish at the Hills of Dunipace.  Just as the parish church was located there, so too would have been the early parish school.  By the late 17th century the centre of population had drifted to the west end of the parish and after a time lag the school would have been moved there.  The “schoolhouse at the Thorn” is mentioned as early as 1715 (Reid notes) and this must have been the one referred to in the New Statistical Account as having been built in 1696.  The site was on the north side of the road from Denny to the Hills of Dunipace, just to the east of North Bankhead Farm and the area was known as Thorn due to the shape of the land enclosed by the confluence of the Avon Burn and the River Carron.  The settlement was rather dispersed and so it is not surprising to see the school set in an isolated rural setting.  The map shows that the road from the south was created to make access to the school easier.

Illus: 1861/63 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

The 1841 Statistical Account provides us with further details:

The number of scholars attending the parochial school has averaged, for the last twenty years, about 60.  Fees for reading, 2s 6d, with writing, 3s; arithmetic 3s 6d; Latin, French and Greek 5s per quarter.  The school-master is kirk-treasurer, for which he receives L2.2s per annum.  The salary is the maximum.  The school-room and school-house are built on a liberal scale.  The garden is of the required extent.  The office of session-clerk, worth L.5 per annum, has not been held by the present schoolmaster, nor by his immediate predecessor.”

The number of pupils must have declined in the following twenty years and the Ordnance Surveyors in 1861 state that it was

A parish school situated a short distance to the west of Dunipace Village, the number of pupils is about 30, 20 of whom are females, and the branches of education which are taught are the common together with the Latin and Greek languages.   The teacher receives for his salary £34.4.4 per annum from the Heritors of the parish and the school fees, which makes an annual average of about £54.4.4.  The school is two stories in height, slated and in good repair.  Property of the Heritors of the parish.”

Dunipace School Board was established in 1873 and the old parochial school was handed over to the Board and it was decided to rebuild it on a more substantial scale. 

1840sR W
1864John Walker120
1869Mr Forbes150
1871Robert Tennant1873

Sites and Monuments Record

Denovan RoadSMR 2261NS 8115 8364

G.B. Bailey, 2023