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Abercorn School and Former School Master's House

A Category C Listed Building in Abercorn, West Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9796 / 55°58'46"N

Longitude: -3.4883 / 3°29'17"W

OS Eastings: 307226

OS Northings: 677295

OS Grid: NT072772

Mapcode National: GBR 1X.W897

Mapcode Global: WH5R4.DY4T

Entry Name: Abercorn School and Former School Master's House

Listing Date: 20 February 2002

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395841

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48419

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Abercorn

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Linlithgow

Traditional County: West Lothian

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Description

1878. Single storey, 4-bay, rectangular school and 3-bay gabled school house with gothic details. Open play shed. Coursed sandstone rubble with polished ashlar dressings and long and short quoins. Base course. Harled boiler house with stone dressings. Pointed arch windows to principal elevation. Drip cills

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 4-bay school. Piended, stone entrance porch to 2nd bay in re-entrant angle, panelled timber door with arched plate glass fanlight above; architraved door surround with hoodmould, narrow section of catslide roof. To left, advanced gabled bay with stepped

tripartite window with continuous hoodmould; small round window to gablehead and decorative finial. To 3rd bay, hoodmoulded bipartite window with stone mullion, gable breaking eaves with small round window to gablehead; aligned slated ventilation turret with louvred stage and slated pyramidal tower. To 4th bay, paired arched windows with continuous hoodmould, small hoodmoulded lancet window to gablehead and decorative finial. Recessed stone lean-to adjoining to right with lancet window to end. Adjoining to far right, open flat-roofed play shelter: cast-iron columns supporting long cast-iron lintel girders, long playground boundary wall forming rear of shelter. Later timber in-fill within extreme left bay of shelter.

SE ELEVATION: gabled end with now blind, moulded and architraved arched window, hoodmoulded with small plain label-stops; ornate finial to gablehead. Blind end of later

timber shelter partially concealing ground floor. Side of lean-to adjoining main building to left.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: 5 regularly placed squared bays to main building. To left, later single storey boiler house lean-to with boarded timber door to right; on return, window and door; right return not seen. Large harled stack rising to rear right. To outer left adjoining rear elevation of rubble play shelter, doorway immediately adjacent to boiler house, further door to left.

NW ELEVATION: gabled end adjoining 2-storey, 3-bay, en-suite multi-gabled school master's house.

Small-pane windows with upper panes in hopper arrangement. 5-pane cast-iron rooflight to left on NE elevation of roof. Fixed circular windows to gableheads. Grey slate roof, stone ridging, aluminium

flashing and valleys. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. Tall ashlar roofline stack to SE gable of main school, battered coping. Shouldered stack to rear of entrance porch.

INTERIOR: not seen, 2001

FORMER SCHOOLMASTER'S HOUSE:

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 2-storey, 3-bay, L-plan house with entrance gable in re-entrant angle. To central bay, timber entrance door within modern glazed conservatory; window to 1st floor, blind gablehead. Advanced bay to right with centrally placed bipartite window to each floor. To left, recessed bay with window to each floor.

SE ELEVATION: gabled end adjoining single storey, en-suite school.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: regularly placed bays to each floor.

NW ELEVATION: not seen, 2001.

Statement of Interest

There were two schools in the parish; the Parochial School at Abercorn and the Girls school sponsored by the Countess of Hopetoun. The girls' school continued into the 20th century but closed in 1903, when all children were admitted into Abercorn School. Four years after the establishment of a Free Church at Woodend, part of the church became a school; it is believed to have merged with the Parochial School. The 1872 Education Act (Scotland) saw the old parish school system declared unfit. Now, all children had to attend school between the ages of 5 and 13. A new site was chosen for the school at White Quarries, as it was "at the centre of the parish and at the junction of many roads". A new school and house was built in 1878, and the parish schoolmaster Christopher Dawson moved there in the autumn. The numbers of pupils soon grew with the opening of a shale mine and mineral oil works, and the mew village at Phillipstoun. Although the new school was used, the old Abercorn School was brought back into use as a primary/elementary

for the children of the Hopetoun Estate, Abercorn School became an annexe. At its height, the school had 155 pupils. Abercorn School closed circa 1930 and became the church hall. The most celebrated schoolmaster was the first teacher at this school, Christopher Murray Dawson. He came from Fife in 1846, served at the school then retired in 1889 to Peebles. The original schoolmaster's house, which he lived in, is sited to the north west adjoining the school. Today it is a private residence. To the rear of the school is a corrugated metal building, circa 1930. It is enclosed to the north west, and is entered by means of a lean-to porch; it has a pair of ornate stacks. The south east of the building is open for vehicles and bike access through squared iron girder pends. Listed as a good example of a late 19th century rural school.

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