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Glenbuchat Heritage

110 Bowiebank
The Glenbuchat Image Library
110 Bowiebank

Home of Bob and Nan Murdoch. back part of Craig cottage, Belnacraig, believed to have been a Free Church school room from 1865 for about 15 years.


This is the name given to the rear section of Craig cottage which had originally been built as a single unit in 1865 as the School for the new Free Church at the foot of the hill. The front of the School was the cottage for the teacher and the rear was originally a large room with separate entrance and a range to provide heat and probably meals.

As there was another School at Dulax, it is thought that Bowiebank may have been a Girls School. It is thought that it was only operational for about 15 years as the 1872 Education act passed the responsibility for education to the State from the Churches. The pupils were then transferred to Glenbuchat Public School at the top of the Craig (or Crag)

There were 146 children of school age in the glen when the 1873 education act made attendance compulsory. By 1907 there were half the number and when the Glenbuchat School finally closed in 1960 there were only 11 pupils in 7 different classes.

1872 Education Act.
The 1872 Education Act created state schools, which were designated, non-denominational. The Act also made education compulsory for all children aged 5-13. Before this time it had not been compulsory for children to be educated though the state had legislated to establish schools, provided funds for them, inspected them and required that their teachers be trained to certain standards. Prior to 1872 charities, faith groups and private tutors had provided education. In 1872, the dominant agencies which the state had chosen to run the school system, namely the Presbyterian religious institutions were changed. The state now set up school boards as it deemed the board system was more efficient than the old parish system but essentially the public goals of state provision remained the same. This made the 1872 Act fundamentally different in significance from the Education Act of 1870 in England and Wales, which marked the true beginning of public schooling.

Some saw the 1872 Act as the beginning of the secularisation of the Scottish education system. However, many Presbyterian churches assumed that after the Act, schools would continue to be, in reality, Presbyterian schools.

The 1872 Education (Scotland) Act brought in compulsory education for all children between 5 and 13 although fees still had to be paid until 1890. Teacher shortages continued and problems arose in areas where teachers who spoke no Gaelic attempted to teach children who had no English. Pupil-teachers could later qualify after attending Teacher Training College.

The presence of the School at Bowiebank is noted in the following documents:

The county of Aberdeen: Henry Hamilton

“Formerly there were three schools in the parish, at Balloch, Bowiebank and Dulax, but owing to the decline in population there is now only one primary school. At September 1955 this school had one teacher and 17 pupils”

1865 The Free Church built its own Kirk and Manse at Craigton, and the Netherton Free Church School - there was also a small Free Church school at Bowiebank.

The 1871 Census gives details of the teacher at the Bowiebank, a Mary Reid who lived with her 11 year old sister who presumably was also a pupil at the school.

1871 Census

51 Free School
Mary Reid Head Unm 23 Female Teacher Bendochy Perthshire 1 5
Jessie Reid Sister Unm 11 Scholar Bendochy Perthshire

1871 Scotland Census about Mary Reid
Name:Mary Reid Age:23
Estimated Birth Year:abt 1848
Where born: Bendochy, Perthshire
Registration Number:200
Registration district:Glenbucket
Civil parish:Glenbucket County:Aberdeenshire
Address:Free School
Occupation:Female Teacher
Household Members:
NameAge Mary Reid23 Jessie Reid11

1871 Scotland Census about Jessie Reid
Name:Jessie Reid Age:11
Estimated Birth Year:abt 1860
Where born:Bendochy, Perthshire
Registration Number:200 Registration district:Glenbucket
Civil parish:Glenbucket County:Aberdeenshire
Address:Free School
Occupation:Scholar ED:1
Household schedule number:51 Line:20 Roll:CSSCT1871_38
Household Members:NameAge
Mary Reid23
Jessie Reid11

Picture added on 21 December 2009 at 21:18
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