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“Puire Fatherless Bairnes”

27th June 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

Heriot’s Hospital Boys Edinburgh 29 June 1880

I’m Theo Smith, over the past week I have been doing work experience with Historic Environment Scotland. Part of my work experience has been working with Scran. I was tasked with writing a blog post inspired by my discoveries on scran.ac.uk. After a bit of research I decided to see what I could find about my school and its founder George Heriot. I decided on this topic because even though I already know a bit about my school’s history, I wanted to find out more. When looking through Scran I found some really interesting information and images – here is what I found out.”

George Heriot – Founder of the School (1563-1624)

George Heriot was born in 1593 to a father of the same name. His father was a goldsmith and was descended from the Heriots of Traboun, an old and well known family in East Lothian. In 1588 George Heriot became a member of the Corporation of Goldsmiths, continuing his father’s work. He was so good at his work that in 1597 he became the goldsmith to Queen Anne, which led to him becoming the jeweler and goldsmith to King James VI only four years later. When King James became King of England, Heriot followed him to London and lived there until he died on the 12th February 1624 at the age of 60. He died a very rich man and those riches would go into building a school for the upbringing and education of the “puire fatherless bairnes” of Edinburgh. It would be named Heriot’s Hospital.

Inside the Quadrangle – 1953

The building of the school was taken on by the royal master mason William Wallace. He was a well known in Scotland as an expert for these kinds of buildings as he already had a number of notable structures to his name. He also was the main mason on the King’s Lodgings at Edinburgh Castle. But Wallace died before he could finish and the job was taken up by his apprentice William Aytoun who had assisted him on various other projects. Aytoun almost completed the building however he died at the end of the 1640’s. In 1693 Robert Mylne presented drawings to build the large octagonal clock tower. He also added a statue of George Heriot inside the quadrangle. In the early 19th century the well known architect William H Playfair added a gatehouse on Lauriston Place.

The gatehouse at Lauriston Place

He also added a terrace around the base of the main building of the school. The interior of the chapel in the south side of the main building was done by Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham in 1837.

When the main building of the school was complete in 1650 it was occupied by the injured and sick troops of Oliver Cromwell until 1658 when he died. The school opened its gates to 30 more boys. This increased the number of boys living at the school to 150. In 1837 the school opened 10 ‘free schools’ across Edinburgh which educated several thousand children however they closed in 1885. A year later Heriot’s Hospital was renamed to George Heriot’s School which it has remained ever since. In the 1870’s the school paid for an institution, which would later merge with the Watt institution, to form Heriot-Watt College, a technical college, which would later become the Heriot-Watt University.

The Brannan Sisters arrive in August 1979

In 1979 three Brannan sisters from Dalkeith became the first girls to attend the school. There are a number of children in the school, those who meet the financial and residential criteria, who still receive help from the school which offers full coverage of the costs to attend. This shows that George Heriots legacy still continues and may continue for a long time to come.

 

 

 

 

Images: © The Scotsman, Edinburgh City Libraries, Newsquest (Herald & Times), National Museums Scotland & Edinburgh College of Art  Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

Morningside Memories

7th October 2015 by Scran | 2 Comments

A little while ago, we said to ourselves “Wouldn’t it be nice to get Scran off the computer screen and into the real world?”, and thanks to our friends at Morningside Library in Edinburgh, we’ve done just that.

Poster for Scran exhibitionThe staff at the library kindly allowed us to use their Charles Smith Room, located upstairs at the branch and usually filled by exhibitions by local artists. In it, we’ve hung 19 prints of Scran images of the local area from the archives of the National Museums of Scotland, The Scotsman and RCAHMS. These date from 1915 to 1979, and depict a bygone age when trams were still drawn by horses, kindly lollipop men helped children across busy junctions and Morningside Station was still a regular stop on the Edinburgh Suburban line. We worked with Bruntsfield Primary school and the Open Door Centre to choose some of the images, as well as the library staff themselves. The exhibition is free, and finishes on October 30th 2015.

All library card holders in Edinburgh can access Scran for free, 24/7, as can residents of 24 out of 32 local authorities in Scotland, and we hope to repeat this at other branch libraries throughout the country, with local residents and schools helping to choose their favourite local images. If you’re a school, library or community centre and you’re interested in hosting a similar exhibition showcasing your local area, then contact us.

Image: ©The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

 

Morningside Memories at The Open Door

4th September 2015 by Scran | 0 comments

Scran shares its images with the Good Neighbour Club at The Open Door in Edinburgh

The Open Door, is a vibrant social centre in the capital’s Morningside. It runs a successful cafe and offers day services and art and creative writing groups for older people, people with mental health issues and other vulnerable people. The Good Neighbours Club meets here every Tuesday.

Morningside Road Station

Scran was invited to join the group to present a slideshow showcasing local content from the Scran website. Eighteenth-century maps and early photographs from our RCAHMS collections took us back to a time when Morningside was simply described as ‘a row of thatched cottages, a line of trees and a blacksmith’s forge’. Photographs from our Scotsman collections led us through 20th-century Morningside where we encountered steam trains and trams and the sad demise of Morningside Road Station. Shops on Morningside Road, schools, cinemas and public houses all featured. The session stirred some interesting chat about school days, wartime evacuation and local dance halls.

It was exciting to discover that The Open Door’s premises are situated adjacent to the former site of the railway station and exiting the building via a side door brought us bang up to date as we were privy to views of the deserted old station platform and the former ticket office, now the home of a chartered accountants and a newsagents.

Scran is a rich source of material for reminiscence practice. Our 20th century social history collections include The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Hulton Getty and the Scottish Life Archive. There’s also audio and video material available. Reminiscence Kits on Scran offer curated collections of images on themes such as Tenement Life, Stars of the Movies and Man on the Moon.

For more images of Morningside through history have a look at our Pathfinder: Looking Back at Morningside, Edinburgh.

Image © The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Station Master and Head Driver tend flower beds at Morningside Road Station, Edinburgh. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk