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Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Event ID 561718

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Accessing Scotland's Past Project


Education has a long history in Kelso, with its origins in a monastic school of the twelfth century. The Protestant Reformers placed particular emphasis on the education of children and enacted a law requiring every parish to have at least one school. Kelso Grammar School, a fee-paying institution for boys opened in 1672, which was the successor of the old abbey school. One of its most famous pupils was the novelist Sir Walter Scott. Other private schools were established in the burgh, some catering for girls, while the 'Ragged School' taught practical or craft skills such as tailoring and shoemaking. After 1873, education became a government responsibility.

The present Kelso High School opened in 1939 and was designed by Reid & Forbes, architects, in the Art Deco style, with South American decorative details. The main range is entered through a central tower with symmetrical two-storeyed wings. The science building, a U-shaped block to the east, also features a tower.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

People and Organisations