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Aberdeen, Schoolhill, Old Grammar School

School (13th Century)

Site Name Aberdeen, Schoolhill, Old Grammar School

Classification School (13th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Old Grammar School Of Aberdeen; Aberdeen, Art School

Canmore ID 20148

Site Number NJ90NW 28

NGR NJ 9394 0635

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeen, City Of
  • Parish Aberdeen
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District City Of Aberdeen
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ90NW 28 9394 0635

For probable predecessor Musick and Grammar Schools in St Nicholas' Churchyard (NJ c. 9403 0631), see NJ90NW 166. For successor and present Aberdeen Grammar School (NJ 9310 0624), see NJ90NW 233.

(NJ 9394 0635) School (NR) (Site of)

OS 25" map, (1955).

The Grammar School of Aberdeen is first mentioned in 1262, and was demolished in 1881. An Art School now occupies the site. (Fraser 1905).

Visited by OS (JLD) 22 August 1952.

G M Fraser 1905.

(Location cited as NJ 9394 0635). Site of Old Grammar School of Aberdeen, first mentioned in 1262 and demolished in 1881. Part of Robert Gordon University now occupies the site.

NMRS, MS/712/83.

This school was demolished in the 19th century and its site redeveloped.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, ATW), 26 February 1997.

Architecture Notes


Aberdeen, Old Gramar School.

1757. Doorway, formerly built at Schoolhill. Re-erected and incorporated in the design of the present Gramar School.

Plans: Measured drawings of doorways and gate piers by George Watt in possession of Fenton Wyness.


Aberdeen Public Library, Reference Department

Erected 1757, demolished 1883. Photograph. Drawing on tile, Old Gramar School before demolition.


Publication Account (1997)

A school was founded in Aberdeen by at least the thirteenth century. In 1262 one Thomas de Benholm is referred to as rector of the school of Aberdeen; 11 but the first specific mention of a grammar school is not until 1418 when John Homyll was appointed as rector to replace Andrew de Scheveze, deceased.

The medieval grammar school had close ties with the church, although by as early as 1479 the council was collecting funds to pay the master of the grammar school £6 per annum. The school was situated near the Dominican House and St Nicholas Church on Schoolhill. Historical research has not yet revealed details of the structure, but the medieval grammar school would not have been a large institution, probably no larger than one or two rooms. By 1527 the building was 'decaden and abill to fall down', and the town council ordered its repair. Two years later the town further assisted the grammar school and its master by voting £10 Scots to supplement his board, because the school was 'desert and destitute of barnis'. The town accounts show on-going repairs to the school particularly to the roof which was thatched. In 1624 the school was replaced with a new building, which housed scholars until 1757, when it, too, was replaced by another sited in the grounds of the former Dominican Friary. To date no archaeological evidence of the grammar school has been found.

Information from ‘Historic Aberdeen: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1997).


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