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Aberlemno, Old Schoolhouse. Church Road

A Category C Listed Building in Aberlemno, Angus

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Latitude: 56.6892 / 56°41'20"N

Longitude: -2.7816 / 2°46'53"W

OS Eastings: 352219

OS Northings: 755541

OS Grid: NO522555

Mapcode National: GBR VP.HRVP

Mapcode Global: WH7QG.74NC

Plus Code: 9C8VM6Q9+M8

Entry Name: Aberlemno, Old Schoolhouse. Church Road

Listing Name: Old Schoolhouse, Church Road, Aberlemno

Listing Date: 15 January 1980

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 336266

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4952

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberlemno

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Brechin and Edzell

Parish: Aberlemno

Traditional County: Angus

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Circa 1790s with dated 1824 and 1824-1861 additions. Former rural parish school comprising run of 3 single storey, rectangular-plan buildings. Coursed rubble with tooled, roughly squared margins. Blocked opening with dated lintel to left of centre of north elevation. Building to east end (possibly original schoolhouse) has a full-height flat arched opening with brick and stone rybats and sliding timber door to the south elevation and the west gable is rendered.

Variety of glazing patterns in timber frames. Slate roof supported on timber rafters. Roof of central section has partially collapsed. Asbestos sheeting to building at east end. Between the central and west sections is a straight, stone skew with cavetto-moulded skewputt. Brick stack with clay can at top of skew and west gable.

The interior was seen in 2014. Walls predominantly back to stonework. Simple timber fireplace which has been altered to central room.

Statement of Interest

Located at the centre of Aberlemno, the Old Schoolhouse is an integral part of this small settlement and its social history. Together with the church, manse and farmhouse (see separate listings) there is a good grouping of 18th and 19th century traditional buildings. The phases of construction are discernible in the Old Schoolhouse's fabric and whilst the east section of the building has been altered, overall the building retains a significant proportion of its late 18th and early 19th century vernacular form and is constructed of locally sourced stone and slate.

The Old Schoolhouse is shown as a school on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1861). The building is likely to have been constructed in three phases as evidenced by the stonework detailing, which includes the roughly squared quoins to the east end section and the rounded corner at the west end of the north elevation of the central section.

The section to the east end is likely to be the earliest part and may date from the late 18th century. The Old Statistical Account of 1791-99 refers to a parish school and Ainslie's map of 1794 shows a cluster of buildings to the west of the church, including the old schoolhouse. A mid-20 century photograph shows the building as a 2-storey, 3-bay house. Although very worn, a lintel to the central section is dated 1824 and this section was possibly used as a schoolroom. The rounded northwest corner of the schoolroom indicates that the building to the far west is a later addition, which was erected before 1861 as it is shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map.

As indicated in the New Statistical Account, written in 1842, Aberlemno Old Schoolhouse was the only school in the area at that time, although it notes that another is much needed. The school ceased to function as such after 1864 when a school at Crosston was built. The 1696 Education Act established the principle of a school for every parish in Scotland. However attendance was not compulsory. School buildings were typically of a domestic scale, as one or two rooms was adequate and of traditional construction. The 1872 Education (Scotland) Act placed responsibility for education in the hands of locally elected school boards and elementary education was made compulsory for all children aged 5 to 13. The boards were also responsible for providing adequate school buildings and there was an explosion in school building in Scotland. Therefore schools buildings dating before the 1872 Act surviving in close or near original form are rare.

The stone and slate used to construct the building appears to be local providing a clear association with the area. The Old Statistical Account notes the quality of the building material in the parish, such as grey freestone and slate, which was exported to London. The New statistical account written in 1842 records that there are several quarries in operation, with the closest quarry to Aberlemno is that to the southern edge of Turin Hill, as shown on the 1st edition OS Map.

Statutory address and listed building record updated in 2014. Previously listed as 'Kirkton Farm - Old Schoolhouse'.

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