There was formal schooling in Tweedsmuir for just over 200 years

The Kirk Sessions in Tweedsmuir appointed a schoolmaster in 1768, and decreed that a school should be built. This was achieved sometime between 1791 and 1799, although it is reported that there were very few students. Up till then, schooling would have been provided by the Minister in the Manse.

From about 1850 the school is shown opposite Dykehead, near the River Tweed at the current crossroads to the village.  A new schoolhouse was completed in 1898.

Tweedsmuir School finally closed in 1978, and the eight remaining children then had to travel eight miles to attend Broughton Primary School.

At the end of the 19th century there were usually about 40 pupils at Tweedsmuir School, who would have been the children of the many shepherds employed in the area. However, between 1885 and 1905, there was an increase in the school roll, as many of the workers building Talla dam brought their families with them. It is thought that the Edinburgh Water Works provided some financial assistance towards building the new school house.

The School Trip

Tweedsmuir School pupils had an annual excursion to Gala Wood at the start of the 20th Century.  It took place either in late spring or early summer, to coincide with the blossoming of the primroses and violets.

The children descended to the banks of the Tweed at Carlowse Bridge and followed the river upstream to Gala Burn, which in turn led them into Gala Wood, where they would spend the day exploring nature.

The ‘Wee School’ at Tweedhopefoot

The ‘Wee School’, also called ‘The Academy’, was a school in the Upper Tweed valley for about 40 years. It was just a small corrugated iron building with painted wood panelling inside, measuring  about 14ft by 9ft.  It opened in the late 1890s, closed in 1938-9, and was said to be the ‘smallest school in Scotland’.

Some children lived close by. The McTier family with 18 children added to the school roll greatly over the years. Others walked some distance to school. In 1929 the youngest, aged 6, walked three miles to get there. In poor weather, some children could not attend.

The Wee School
The Wee School with pupils and teacher