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Glenalmond College


(Trinity College, Glenalmond)

One of Scotland's leading independent schools, Glenalmond College was founded in 1843 as a theological college for the Scottish Episcopal Church and originally known as the Scottish Episcopal College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity or Trinity College, Glenalmond. Set in 121 ha (300 acres) of parkland on the banks of the River Almond in Central Perth & Kinross, 9 miles (15 km) west northwest of Perth, the site - on land given by Lord Justice Clerk George Patton of Cairnies (1803-69) - was chosen by its founders to be distant from sinful influences. These founders included Prime Minister William Gladstone (1809-98), his father, Sir John Gladstone of Fasque (1764 - 1851), and James Hope-Scott (1812-73).

Today, Glenalmond is a co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged between 12 and 18 from the UK and across the world, with girls first admitted in 1990. It has a roll of 394 (2009), with 340 boarders living in one of eight boarding houses; namely Cairnies, Goodacre's, Home, Lothian, Matheson's, Patchell's, Reid's and Skrine's. The school is run by a Warden (headmaster) and Sub-Warden guided by a council, which once included all of the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church, together with lay members. The training of clergy moved to Edinburgh after a fire at Glenalmond in 1875.

The campus comprises a mixture of Victorian Tudor-Gothic and contemporary buildings set alongside extensive sporting facilities. The original A-listed buildings are grouped round a cloistered quadrangle, inspired by an Oxford College, and include the chapel, hall, library, study bedrooms and classrooms. A science centre provides three floors of state-of-the-art laboratories.

The principal architect was John Henderson (1804-62), but others who have worked here include A.G. Heiton (c.1862 - 1927), Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-78) and Sir Basil Spence (1907-76).

The large chapel was added in 1851 at the expense of the first Warden, Charles Wordsworth (1806-92) and is modelled on that of Merton College in Oxford. It features an open hammerbeam roof and fine stained glass, but the interior was modified by Spence in 1962, who provided a new gallery. The First World War memorial is by Sir Ninian Comper (1864 - 1960), a former pupil.

The Memorial Library was built by Heiton 1904-06 in memory of the eleven Old Glenalmonds who were killed in the Boer War. This fine two-storey Gothic building stands separately in the centre of the quadrangle, intended to have been part of a south cloister which was never built. The library contains 20,000 volumes together with journals and newspapers.

Beyond the central quadrangle are a modern theatre, concert hall, art school and design centre, with its separate wood and metal workshops. A learning resources centre provides computers and a video-conferencing facility. A Sports Complex includes a gymnasium, sports hall, swimming pool, fitness suite, shooting range and squash courts.

Notable former pupils include Schomberg Henry Kerr, 9th Marquess of Lothian (1833 - 1900), Victor Alexander Bruce, the 9th Earl of Elgin (1849 - 1917), politicians Sir John Gilmour (1876 - 1940) and Charles Falconer (b.1951), novelist and scriptwriter James Kennaway (1928-68), journalist Allan Massie (b.1938) and rugby internationalists David Sole (b.1962) and Rob Wainwright (b.1965).

Glenalmond featured in the BBC documentary Pride and Privilege in 2008.


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