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Carluke Parish Schools

Yieldshields School 1956


[We have pleasure in printing the James Barr Essay on Local Studies which has been won this year by Margaret Williamson, Class 35. Carluke High School Magazine 1956]

When and where begins the history of the schools of Carluke Parish.  According to tradition, the first teaching establishment in the parish was attached to the settlement made by a band of monks at Abbeysteads in the Forest of Mauldslie. About the 14th century this old building fell into ruins and a new building, a plain room with earthen floor, at first roofed with flagstones but later slated, was erected nearer the centre of the parish. It will therefore be seen that these early schools developed under the shelter and control of the church, and this control continued until mid-way through the 19th century.

It was not until 1710 that the first building specially designed for education was erected in Carluke. It stood about the middle of the present High Street and on the north side of it, a spot now occupied by shops and houses but at that time the edge of Kirkstyle Muir. The building consisted of one storey of two apartments and had a turf roof, at first thatched over by heather and later by straw. Previously teaching had been done in the church building or in part of it screened off. Some sixty years before - in 1645  mention is made for the first time of the appointment  of a schoolmaster to Carluke.


The Wee School

The second Parish School occupied the site on which now stands the National Bank. It was built in 1789, before the main Stirling-Carlisle Road was constructed, and was a low thatched house. By 1859 the schoolroom at the Cross had become nsuitable for children, partly because of the opening of the Stirling-Carlisle Road in 1823. Consequently, in 1841 a new building, a single room with a slated porch at the east end, together with a schoolhouse consisting of three rooms and a kitchen. was erected at the Well Green. This was the first instalment of the present  Wee School. In 1860 a small teaching room was added with a small gallery for infants. In 1867, further additions and repairs were carried out. For a time in 1876 the infant department was removed to the hall of the Crown Hotel, entrance to which was gained by means of outside stairs near the present café.

In 1876  the main part of the school was transferred to a new building at Market Road - the front part of the present building there - and the school at Well Green was opened as an infant school. The Market Road building was the first school built by the new School Board, which had come into being five years earlier.In 1892, cookery classes were first started at Carluke School in the Evangelical Hall and two of the younger classes were also sent there temporarily. In 1893, the Infant School, or Wee School was re-opened after having been closed for eight months for repairs, and the younger children were transferred from the Evangelical Hall. In 1895, a double-storey building was added at the back of the original Market Road School, and in 1909 alterations were made at the Wee School, the Schoolmasters House becoming part of the school and several new classrooms and a central hall being added. During alterations classes were held in the Lesser Town Hall. At the same time, a cottage in Chapel Street. next door to the school, was acquired for the purpose of setting up classes for girls in household management. In 1910, a manual instruction room was built as a separate annexe in the playground. In 1930, the present gymnasium, clinic and cookery annexe were added, and in 1948, as a result of the raising of the school age to fiffteen years, two H.O.R.S.A. buildings were erected in the playground at Market Road. These were fitted as Science Labs and the old Science Lab in the main building was equipped as a second manual instruction room. Two similar buildings were erected in the Well Green, and by moving some of the younger classes to the  Wee School  more accommodation became available at Market Road for the older pupils. In 1949, a dining room was erected at the  Wee School to provide school meals for the younger children. Since 1944, Market Road School pupils have had school meals served in the Templars Hall pending the erection of a dining room for them at the corner of Cairneymount Road and Chapel Street. Plans for a proposed new school have had to be abandoned meantime as a result of the Second World War and the conditions since.

Side by side with the Parish School there came into existence several other schools, variously known as side schools, dames schools or adventure schools and to these were added later  works schools.  About the end of the 17th century there is a record of the Kirk Session forbidding the opening of any other school in the parish, a ban due to suspicion that such schools might interfere with the prosperity of the Parish School.

The Market Place School

 In 1833, there were six side schools in the parish and in 1864 there were side schools at Law, Braidwood, Yieldshields and Kilcadzow  together with a Roman Catholic and a female (girls) school in the town itself. In 1824, an Act permitted side schools in districts distant from the central parish school. records exist of two side schools in Chapel Street, one at the upper corner of Cairneymount Road and the other at number 52. There were two in Hamilton Street, one of them in part
of the building now occupied by Brooks (Drapers)  and the other near the site of the Smithy. The house next to the Smithy
was originally built as a school. Other side schools existed at Carnwath Road, Old Bridgend. Stewart Street and Market
Road and for a short time in the hall of the Crown Hotel.

About 1835, Coltness Iron Company began to mine iron-stone on Milton Lockhart estate and erected a school at Mayfield for the workers children. The site is now covered by the blaes bing.
At Castlehill, around the early 1850s, Shotts Iron Company provided  a school for their workers children. First of all in the Cross Row, then in Furnace Row, and lastly in Weighhouse Row, where the school remained till 1889, when the abolition of fees closed all side schools. Another Castlehill school existed around 1885 in Marshalls buildings.

In the early 18th century there is a record of a school at Hyndshaw but this had disappeared in 1850. The construction of a railway line through the parish by the Caledonian Railway Company brought several Irish labourers and led to the growth of a small Roman Catholic community. The earliest Roman Catholic School was a two-apartment cottage situated on approximately the site oi the present R.C. school and was opened in 1859. Around 1870, there was a break of a few years and the school re-opened in 1874. The present buildings were erected in 1926-27. The position of Law School in relation to the present village of Law is due to the fact that the earlier centre of population was at Lawhill. Around 1726-28 there were a number of dames schools in Law district. By 1820, a school had been established at Lawhill. The present school was erected in 1874. Four additional rooms were added in 1906 and in 1912 Domestic Science and Technical Classrooms were added. Before 1820, a building, now demolished, was used as a school at Brockshole, on the road from Brownlie to Garrion Bridge, and there was at one time another school on the right, a little beyond Cardys Bridge. Kilncadzow  is one of the earliest localities in the parish where education was provided outwith the parish school , and a school seems to have existed there in 1719. During the first half of the 19th century an adventure school and a subscription school existed side by side. The present school buildings were erected around 1881.

A school existed in Braidwood nearly 200 years ago - a thatched building nearer the main road than the present building. The next school Braidwood Subscription school, forms part of the present building.  The front part of the present building, projecting towards the road, was built by the first School Board in 1872.
The earliest school at Yieldshields was probably the cottage now occupied by Mrs McPhee. The second school was held in the cottage by the burnside, dated 1827,  and now occupied by Mr John McMillan. The present building was erected around 1880 and underwent alteration in 1925, when the schoolhouse was built.

This brief record clearly shows that Carluke Parish has never lagged behind other parishes in the provision of schools for its young inhabitants. Space does not permit a discussion of the subjects taught or of the many worthy men and women who laboured in the schools described.


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Ancient Remains
Carluke Parish Bank 1874

Created before 2012