Old Academy, Bathgate, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on an impressive piece of 19th century architecture which is located on Marjoribanks Street, Bathgate, Central Scotland.

This building was the product of philanthropy using wealth created by 18th century slavery. Summary facts are as follows:

  • Built from funds left for the purpose in the will of John Newland who was born in Bathgate but made his fortune from a sugar plantation in Jamaica.
  • John Newland died in 1799 but the funds earmarked for the academy were frozen for many years due to prolonged litigation as a result of Newland’s sister contesting the will through the courts.
  • The school was finally opened in 1833 and developed a fine record of academic achievement.
  • The building was converted into residential flats after the school relocated to a modern building in the 1960s.

An extremely imposing structure which dominates the Bathgate skyline.

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