Kinnaird School

Illus: Ordnance Survey Map surveyed in 1859 and published in 1895 (National Library of Scotland).

This school was established within the grounds of Kinnaird House about 1831.  In 1844 it was taught by Miss Young and at the Disruption of 1843 seems to have become allied with the Free Church.  Three years later, at the time of an inspection by the ministers of that church, it was noted that “Kinnaird School is strictly speaking a sewing school” though English reading, spelling, grammar, writing, arithmetic and instruction in the gospel were all taught.  The school performed especially well (Stirling Observer 24 September 1846, 4).  In 1859 it was described as:

A school situated to the west of Kinnaird, it is private and un-endowed.   Teacher residence attached, one storey, tiled.   Salary solely derived from school fees.  The common branches of education are taught.   Average number of scholars – male 25, female 35, total 60.  Property of C.L. Cumming Bruce Esq MP of Kinnaird House, Larbert.

(Ordnance Survey Name Book). 

The Kinnaird referred to in this quote was the colliers’ village.  The teacher at that time was probably Mr Carse who had formerly held the post at the Redding Village School.

Kinnaird School was permitted to continue after the formation of Larbert School Board whilst more serious problems with school accommodation were prioritised.  By 1889 the average attendance was only 35 and one member of the Board described it as being

in a disreputable state not fit for teaching children, and the teacher was a very old man

(Falkirk Herald 5 June 1889). 

This was typical of the exaggeration that such members indulged in.  In any case, the Board had left it to its own devices out of sympathy for that old man, who was probably John Penman.  By then it had become the responsibility of Carron Company which had taken over ownership of the adjacent coal pit and the following year the school was closed.  By that time much of the village had been abandoned and the remainder disappeared in the 1920s when Letham was built.

During its period as a school the building was often used for meetings.  The Carronhall and Kinnaird Co-operative Society held its quarterly general meetings there in the 1860s and 1870s.  The Kinnaird Charitable Society also met there in the 1880s, as did the Stenhousemuir and Larbert Mutual Improvement Association.

National Grid Reference

NS 8892 8432

G.B. Bailey, 2023