Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Tain, Academy Street, Duthac House Care Home

School (19th Century)

Site Name Tain, Academy Street, Duthac House Care Home

Classification School (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Formerly Tain Academy; Tain, Academy Street, Highland Fabricators Limited

Canmore ID 109262

Site Number NH78SE 55

NGR NH 77864 82341

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Tain
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Architecture Notes

2 storey ashlar fronted U-plan with Doric door surround. Hall has Diocletian windows in pedimented gables.

Converted to old people's home in 1980.

ARCHITECT: James Smith (1810-13)

Hall at rear added by Andrew Maitland & Sons (1896)


Exterior photographed in 2000 for the Survey of Burgh Schools project.

(Undated) information in NMRS.


Publication Account (2009)

Plans were approved in 1808, and a Royal Charter (copying Inverness) signed on 6 April 1809. The Full design was ambitious (fig 8), and at early meetings ‘the building of the wings was postponed until adequate funds should be procured’. The foundation stone was laid on 18 July 1810, and the building opened on 18 February 1813. Designed by James Smith of Inverness, it consisted of a long, twostorey five-bay classical central block capped by a cupola, with two wide end pavilions and tall wings on each side, possibly as boarding accommodation. The ambition outstripped the funding, however, so the wings were never built; and the cupola was removed in 1826 (fig 9). Nevertheless, in 1825 the academy was described as ‘a very handsome and large erection, and a great embellishment to the town’, and in 1837 ‘one of the handsomest and chastest erections in the north of Scotland’.

A further appeal was launched in 1816 for a library, by which time the school had over 240 pupils. It was said to have been very popular, with pupils coming from well beyond the catchment area, even from England and the colonies. It ‘sent forth a large number of young men to distinguish themselves in almost every walk of life, and of ladies to adorn and bless many houses’. Like other academies, it attracted good teachers, who also gave public lectures. It was noted in 1837 that the number of boys going on to university had diminished, since ‘The knowledge acquired here is generally deemed sufficient for those who do not intend to embrace a profession demanding a college curriculum’. In addition to the academy there were, in 1837, a parish school, two female schools (one public and one private), two private English schools, and a Gaelic Society school at Inver.

In 1918, too, the academy was taken over by the local education authority. In 1981 it became an old people’s home, re-named Duthac House, and is now the office of the Social Work Department.

Information from ‘The Scottish Burgh Survey, Historic Tain: Archaeology and Development’, (2009).


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions