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Edinburgh Academy

Located in the Inverleith district of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Academy takes the form of a low pavilion, built by William Burn between 1823 and 1836 (opened in 1824) and regarded as one of his finest works. Built in the Greek style, the facade includes a central portico supported by Doric columns. Behind is the school hall, modified internally by A.F. Balfour Paul in 1912 and topped by a shallow coffered dome.

The Academy was founded for the education of boys by a committee including Henry Cockburn (1779 - 1854), Leonard Horner (1785 - 1864) and Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) as a reaction to poor standards at the end of the 18th C., particularly in their alma mater, the High School of Edinburgh.

Today, Edinburgh Academy remains a non-residential private school and is partially co-educational. There are approximately 900 pupils attending the Junior and Senior schools, which can lead to qualifications in both the Scottish and English educational systems.

The adjacent Donaldson's Building at 54 Henderson Row was also built in 1824 and served as the home of Donaldson's School for the Deaf until acquired by the Academy in 1977. It was used as a location for the film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). This building now houses the office of the Rector, together with the Art, English and Geography departments. Between this and the main building is a modern music school (1991). The science departments are housed in the James Clerk Maxwell Centre, built in 2006 at a cost of £4.3 million and named after the physicist who was a former pupil. Other former pupils include painter Robert Scott Lauder (1803-69), Archibald Tait (1811-82), who became the Archbishop of Canterbury, mineralogist Matthew Forster Heddle (1828-97), geologist Sir James Hector (1834 - 1907), surgeon Joseph Bell (1837 - 1911), John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll (1845 - 1914), zoologist Prof. Sir D'Arcy Thompson (1860 - 1948) and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson (1929 - 2007).


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