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Glenalmond, Trinity College

School (19th Century)

Site Name Glenalmond, Trinity College

Classification School (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Trinity College, Glenalmond, Main Building; Glenalmond College; Trinity College Grounds; Scottish Episcopal College Of The Holy And Undivided Trinity

Canmore ID 26108

Site Number NN92NE 10

NGR NN 97753 28984

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Methven
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Sir Basil Spence

Building Notes

The Perthshire boarding school Glenalmond College, formerly Trinity College, lies on the River Almond near Methven. It was founded in 1841 by the Episcopalian church and although a number of modern additions have been carried out, many of its buildings, including the Dining Hall and the Chapel, date back to its earliest years. In 1954 Basil Spence & Partners were commissioned to make alterations to the chapel. These included seating provision, a new gallery at the west end above the ante-chapel, and the restoration of all existing woodwork.

The practice constructed a screen to separate the ante-chapel from the building's main body. The sculptor Thomas Whalen, who had worked with Spence on the ICI Pavillion at the 1938 Empire Exhibition, designed the central panel, which shows his interpretation of the Glenalmond Seal. The architectural woodworking firm Scott Morton were commissioned to carve the screen.

Archive Details

The manuscript material in the Sir Basil Spence Archive explains that the practice divided the work into four phases so that it could be carried out in stages according to the financial capabilities of the client. Money was limited and the school board relied on donations to see the project to its end. Photographs and a drawn elevation show the richly carved and painted screen. This is embellished with painted shields bearing the arms of Scottish Episcopalian bishops and universities or colleges with which Trinity had special links.

The Archive shows that carving work had to be reduced to a minimum due to lack of funding. Although Scott Morton was asked to carry out essential work in the chapel, local firms were employed for the paneling.

Archive Summary

The Sir Basil Spence Archive holds one manuscript batch for this project, which contains correspondence, notes on the alteration scheme for the chapel and a school prospectus from July 1952. There are also 16 photographs and nine working drawings.

The Scott Morton Collection held at RCAHMS includes three photographs and 36 working drawings relating to the Trinity College Chapel, largely details of shields. The Spence, Glover and Ferguson Collection, also held at RCAHMS, includes a number of working drawings and photographs relating to the practice's work at Glenalmond. However, these largely relate to later commissions for a new block of music rooms and a residential extension to Reid House.

This text was written as one of the outputs of the Sir Basil Spence Archive Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, 2005-08.

Archaeology Notes

NN92NE 10.00 97753 28984

NN92NE 10.01 NN 97473 28250 Lodge

NN92NE 10.02 NN c. 9765 2842 Sanatorium

Architecture Notes


Glenalmond - Trinity College.

Architects: John Henderson 1841-51.

George Henderson - rebuilt after fire, 1893.

A.G. Heiton - Library.

Sir G. G. Scott - additions 1847.

J. Donald Mills & Godfrey Shepherd - scheme for additions 1934-39

Plans: I.G. Lindsay Collection, W/97.

Glenalmond House.

NMRS/Simpson & Brown photographs.

Box 8 album no 119 & 123.

1989 several exterior views of house and grounds, some interiors and quarry.



Circulars concerning the foundation of an Academy in connection with the Scottish Episcopal Church. The appeal is for #20, 000 to build and establish the school.

1841. GD16/49/48.

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection, DC28831, 1971.


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