reports concerning the district in the 18th century are full of
the pitful plight of the people who had the greatest difficulty keeping
body and soul together and yet it is a wonderful thing to learn that
through all the discouraging conditions they struggled to get their
children educated. Although there was no church at Rannoch at the
beginning of the 18th century, the Society for Propogation of
Christian Knowledge who concerned themselves with instructing the young in
principles of the Christian--especially the Calvinist--faith founded the
first school here in 1732. Their aim was to teach the children to read;
the chief object of reading to know the Bible and the Catechism.
SCHOOLS OF RANNOCH
1732.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~Aulich~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~..Numbers not known
3. 1734.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~..Innerhadden~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~Numbers not known
5. 1748.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~..Drumchastle~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~Numbers not known
7. 1753.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~.Bunrannoch~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~80 (Later joined the Kinloch Rannoch
8. 1753.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~.Murlaggan~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~..63 (Sometimes called Mt. Alexander or
10. 1760.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~East Tempar~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~.~ez_hellip~60
11. 1760.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~Braes of Rannoch~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~32 (Later became Georgetown)
13. 1773.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~Kinloch Rannoch~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~63
16. 1900.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~Rannoch Station~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~22
17. 1959.~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~Rannoch Station~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~.260
these figures are taken from Dr A.W. Harding~ez_rsquo~s excellent research of the
old schools of the area.)
The number of pupils is the maximum recorded at any one time.
2. The date is when the schools started.
3. The places and numbers can be found on the enclosed map.
4. Dugal Buchanan in 1753 also writes of schools at ~ez_lsquo~Glengarry
and Glenerechy~ez_rsquo~. Whether these are schools included above under different
names or whether they are two more to be added to the list I am not sure.
It was at
Aulich, a small settlement on the north side of Loch Rannoch, that it was
felt there was the greatest need for a school. At first they could not
get any one to come to teach at a place whose people had a reputation for
~ez_lsquo~lawlessness and savagery~ez_rsquo~. However, the school opened with a Duncan
Cameron as teacher. He had been tested by the Presbytery of Dunkeld who
felt that although he could ~ez_lsquo~read English well~ez_rsquo~, he would not be able to
cope with the management of the school.. They were probably right because
he only stayed a year. Nevertheless he established it sufficiently for it
to last until February, 1741. It is not recorded how many pupils there
were at Aulich, but in the same year another school was established at the
larger settlement of Killichonan and its numbers in September, 1749 were
75, 58 boys and 17 girls.
the Society for Propogation of Christian Knowledge offered money for a
school to be set up at Bunrannoch. It was actually opened at Innerhadden
but they could not persuade any teacher to volunteer for such a remote
posting. They suggested that a George Park be moved from his school at
Strathbraan. The poor chap was horrified at the suggestion and appealed
strongly against it but to no avail. He was ordered to come. He was
probably bribed with the promise of higher remuneration for it was
recorded that his salary was
J9 a year which
was more than other teachers were paid at that time. But he had a
hopeless task. He could not speak Gaelic and the children could not speak
English. It was a policy of the S.P.C.K. ~ez_rsquo~to root out the Erse language~ez_rsquo~
as being a barrier to the spread of religion but it certainly made the
task of such men as George Park difficult; so much so that he gave up the
struggle and ran away never to return.
at Rannoch in the early days undoubtedly had its problems. Not only was
it difficult to persuade teachers to come, particularly when there was
nothing in the way of accommodation for them, but also because there was
often no suitable place to house a school. The people were firm, though,
in their determination to have their children educated. We find that
sometimes schools were held in stables, in byres, in bothies and in
cottages set aside for their use where ~ez_rsquo~the thatch roof became rotten and
swarming with rats and the rain poured in on the children.~ez_rsquo~ The windows
were without glass and the rooms dense with the smoke from the peat fire.
Each child was obliged to bring a piece of peat each day. They would need
to be warmed up after some of them had traveled miles over the hills
barefoot to be there at seven o~ez_rsquo~clock in the morning. Once there they had
to sit or lie on the floor to do their lessons.
school after another opened in the district. John Knox in 1550 had
dreamed of a school in every parish, but in Rannoch his dream was far
exceeded. Gradually conditions improved. From a report of Kinloch
Rannoch School in 1772 we learn that they were comfortably housed with a
separate house for the Dominie. They were taught Reading and Writing and
their books consisted of an English Collection, Proverbs, Gulliver~ez_rsquo~s
Travels, a Spelling book, the Bible, the Gaelic Testament, the Catechism
and a story of the Greek mythological hero, Telemachus. Some of the
schools are reported as teaching Latin. Education such as this more than
any other thing changed the outlook and reputation of the area. John Knox
had looked to a time when a clever boy, however poor, would be able to
proceed from the local school to the Town or Burgh School where he would
learn Latin and Greek, and perhaps Hebrew, and thence to University. A
much better future than their parents had was now available for the young
people of Rannoch.
from the area that had for years harbored freebooters, broken men and men
on the run were to come men and women of education in some cases of high
learning. Because of the severe depopulation of the valley there are now
only three schools. Georgetown School has a handful of pupils, Kinloch
Rannoch School is flourishing with 50 and the 25 year old Independent
Rannoch School welcomes its 260 boys and girls from all over the world.