The Schools of Muiravonside Parish

Muiravonside was and still is a sparsely populated parish.  It is not surprising therefore that James McFarlan, in his New Statistical Account of the parish, in 1845 noted that there were only two schools in the parish – the parish school and one at Avonbridge.  The latter was a small private concern lying on the north side of the River Avon.

The parochial school served the farming community and, although relatively isolated, became the centre of pathways allowing the pupils to attend.  It was this school that was developed after the formation of the Muiravonside School Board in 1873.  To serve those at the southern end of the parish the Board went into partnership with the Slamannan School Board to share costs for a new school on the southern side of the River Avon at Avonbridge.  The population expanded rapidly with the development of the Blackbraes coalfield and the proprietor of the collieries established his own private school, which was subsequently taken over by the Board.  So, in 1894 there were three schools:

Drumbowie, Standburn456261

At the same time the number of children from Muiravonside parish in attendance at the Avonbridge Combined School was – on the roll, 60, average attendance 40.  The number of children from Polmont parish attending the Blackbraes School was 93; the number of children from Muiravonside parish attending schools in Polmont parish was 34; the number from Muiravonside parish attending the Roman Catholic School was 25.  The number of children attending Muiravonside School from Maddiston village was 57, and the number attending Drumbowie School 27, making a total of 84 from Maddiston.  As Drumbowie was overcrowded the Muiravonside School Board resolved to exclude pupils from Torphichen from Avonbridge School.

Muiravonside School Board was replaced by a school management committee for Polmont and Muiravonside District in January 1919.  It subsequently was looked after by the County, the Region and now by Falkirk District.  The overall pattern changed little.  Due to depopulation Blackbraes was closed and California too over that area.  Muiravonside School was moved to the greatly expanded village of Whitecross.

The following schools are covered in the inventory:


Leask, D.2017A Historic Tour of the Parish of Muiravonside.
Scott, I.1989Falkirk College of Technology: 25 Years of Further Education and Training in Central Region.

G.B. Bailey, 2023