Whilst Stonehouse Primary School  currently occupies the footprint of the old Townhead Primary school, a school has been located on or near the exisitng footprint since the late 1700’s.  According to Robert Naismith’s book on Stonehouse the first purpose built school in Stonehouse opened in 1781 in King Street.  This was followed by a new parish school, built in 1853, which was located ‘a short distance from old one’, (in Townhead Street?).

It was enlarged in 1870 and ‘enclosed with a neat wall’.   A new house for the headmaster was also built near the Free Manse (in Hill Road?) called Sauchrie Cottage. (Naismith (1895) pp82-85).

The Free Church School in Hill Road (1851 – 1881) was leased to the Stonehouse School Board for one year in 1881, under the name of Hill Academy, while Townhead Street School was under construction.

On 9th January 1882 Townhead Public School was opened by the School Board.

The Toonheid’ as this school was generally known in early days was built in 1881 at a cost, including site, of upwards of £2,000.  Its location was where the present school is, at the corner of Townhead Street and Sidehead Road. The first Headmaster, Mr Alexander McIntosh had been teaching in Stonehouse for nine years before the school was built.  He came to the village in 1872 as teacher in the Subscription School and two years later he was appointed to the Free Church School in Hill Road where he remained until, under the School Board of Stonehouse, he then moved to the Parish School in Townhead Street now as Townhead Public School.

The group have a number of documents that relate to the school in relation to

a) The Education Department

b) Teacher References

c) Pupil Exemption Certificates

d) Index of pupils who achieved Standard Grade VI including their autograph

e) Headmasters diary / log 1881-1947

f) Hamilton Advertiser Articles by Jean Leishman

g) School Admissions Records

These are all in process of being scanned and categorised into the above  headings and will be added as time permits.

A) Education Department 

Over the years a number of education department circulars and reports were produced which instructed schools on what had to be taught as well as measuring how well the school was doing. The following links are a series of reports and circulars produced since around 1899.

Education Reports and Circulars

B) Teacher References

A number of the early teacher references were salvaged and these are attached for reference.

C) Certificate of Exemptions (for attending evening classes)

Whilst working and supporting the family was important in these days, education was also recognised as being important and a number of pupils who signed up to carry out evening classes were exempt from attending day school.

These are a copy of the original certificates that were saved and digitised.

D) Index of Pupils who achieved Standard Grade 6

Autographs from some of the pupils who achieved standard grade VI were taken from the pupils and are contained in a book held by the group. This book also detailed their address, age and additional comments. Listed below is an alphabetical index of the pupils who achieved standard grade V1 between 1882 and 1894.

131882AllanMaggieWest MainsStonehouse12
131882StruthersKatieBroomfieldDalserf13Became a Pupil Teacher in Greenside and died before her apprenticeship was done
131882BrownGrace38 Camnethan StreetStonehouse12
141882HamiltonJeanie S.BogsideStonehouse11
141882WhyteElizabeth18 Lockhart StreetStonehouse13
141882GrayJessieAvon cottageStonehouse11
151882MuterAlexander48 Camnethan StreetStonehouse11
151882JamiesonRobert16 Argyle StreetStonehouse12
151882LewisAndrew31 Lawrie StreetStonehouse12
161882FroodJohn4 Queen StreetStonehouse1221/2/1894. Now in Queensland.
171883HamiltonThomas13 Kirk StreetStonehouse11
171883ThomsonKate47 King StreetStonehouse12
181883HamiltonJeanie7 New StreetStonehouse13
181883MartinMary31 Townhead StreetStonehouse12
191884JamiesonHelenOff Lockhart StreetStonehouse12
191884SandilandsJessie6 Lockhart StreetStonehouse12
191884McWhirterJeanieTrongate StreetStonehouse12
191884BairdAnnieCanderside FarmStonehouse12
191884PellingJanet33 Lawrie StreetStonehouse11
201884ShearerMaggie14 Union StreetStonehouse13
201884FroodJames4 Queen StreetStonehouse12
201884WyperAlex39 Lawrie StreetStonehouse12
201884StruthersWilliamBroomfieldDalserf13Became an engineer. Died 21/10/1890.
211884BarrieGavin15 Kirk StreetStonehouse12
211884SmallJames29 Kirk StreetStonehouse12
211884BurnsHugh4 Market PlaceStonehouse13
211884ThomsonArchie F.4 Trongate StreetStonehouse12
211884MillarArchie1 Green StreetStonehouse13
221885PlenderleithJames22 Angle StreetStonehouse11
221885BarieJames15 Kirk StreetStonehouse12
221885LeggateRobert22 Angle StreetStonehouse11
231885WilsonThomasGreenside PlaceStonehouse12
231885WoodJames17 Kirk StreetStonehouse11
231885HamiltonAgnes7 New StreetStonehouse12
241885MilesMarion12 King StreetStonehouse12
241885JacksonEuphemia C.12 New StreetStonehouse12
241885WeirMaggieBroomfield FarmDalserf12
251885ShearerMarion14 Union StreetStonehouse12
261886WattJames43 Lockhart StreetStonehouse12
261886HamiltonThomas4 Angle StreetStonehouse12Died 1889.
261886HamiltonRobert52 Camnethan StreetStonehouse12
271886TorranceAlex22 Lawrie StreetStonehouse12
271886HamiltonMatthew32 New StreetStonehouse12
271886MuirAndrew18 Lawrie StreetStonehouse12
281886BrownlieAlexDovesdale FarmDalserf12
281886CraigBella8 Queen StreetStonehouse12Became a Pupil Teacher in Greenside School 1889.
281886GrayKateHill CottageStonehouse12
291886SandilandsLizzie4 Lockhart StreetStonehouse11
301887CraigJohn8 Queen StreetStonehouse1121/2/1894 Now in U.S.A.
301887MilesJohn12 King StreetStonehouse12
301887HamiltonWilliam4 Angle StreetStonehouse11
311887SteeleJohn17 Lockhart StreetStonehouse12
311887BrownJames38 Camnethan StreetStonehouse12
311887PellingPeter33 Lawrie StreetStonehouse12
321887HamiltonLizzie7 New StreetStonehouse12
321887LawrieMaggie15 King StreetStonehouse12Became a Pupil Teacher in Camnethan Street School, but resigned through ill health 1889.
321887BarrieBethiaKirk StreetStonehouse12
331887WhyteAnnie18 Lockhart StreetStonehouse13
331887WilsonJessie8 Union StreetStonehouse12
331887MuterAgnes48 Camnethan StreetStonehouse12
341887BrownChristina12 Union StreetStonehouse11
341887ScottMarion23 Camnethan StreetStonehouse11
351888LeithBella22 Angle StreetStonehouse11
351888WyperMaggie39 Lawrie StreetStonehouse11
351888SmallHelen48 Camnethan StreetStonehouse11
361888FroudeAndrew4 Queen StreetStonehouse11Went onto become registrar for Scotland
361888HamiltonDaniel34 Townhead StreetStonehouse12
381889ThomsonMaggieGreen StreetStonehouse11
381889HamiltonMaggieKirk StreetStonehouse12
391889BarrieJohn14 Kirk StreetStonehouse12
391889GovanJohn13 Townhead StreetStonehouse13
391889ScottJames23 Camnethan StreetStonehouse11
401889BarrieThomas37 New StreetStonehouse12
401889HamiltonJohn7 New StreetStonehouse12
401889TorranceAlexander45 Camnethan StreetStonehouse12
411890HamiltonRobert13 Kirk StreetStonehouse11
411890TorranceRobert78 New StreetStonehouse12
411890JacksonGavin6 King StreetStonehouse11
421890MacFieThomasArgyle StreetStonehouse12
421890BarrieWilliam37 New StreetStonehouse11
421890MuterRobert48 Camnethan StreetStonehouse12
431890HamiltonMaggie52 Camnethan StreetStonehouse12
431890MatherMaggieGreen StreetStonehouse12
441890FergusonGeorgeHill RoadStonehouse12
441890MacFieArchieUnion BankStonehouse12
441890HamiltonAlexTownhead StreetStonehouse12
451891BroadfootGeorgeLawrie StreetStonehouse12
451891LawrieMarionKing StreetStonehouse12
451891ShearerMarionTownhead StreetStonehouse12
461891FroudeMaryQueen StreetStonehouse12
461891MilesMaryKing StreetStonehouse12
461891ThomsonChristinaUnion StreetStonehouse13
471891WyperLilliasLawrie StreetStonehouse12
471891BarclayCatherineTrongate StreetStonehouse12
471891McNivenMaryUnion StreetStonehouse12
481891LeithBarbaraAngle StreetStonehouse11
481891ThomsonMarionTownhead StreetStonehouse11
481891HamiltonMarionAngle StreetStonehouse11
491892ShearerAndrewUnion StreetStonehouse12
491892BrownWilliamUnion StreetStonehouse11
491892StevensonGeorgeAngle StreetStonehouse12
501892FallowWilliamKing StreetStonehouse12
501892McDermanJohnCamnethan StreetStonehouse11
501892WardropeHughCawfall RoadStonehouse11
511892WhitelawRobertNew StreetStonehouse11
511892HamiltonAnnieNew StreetStonehouse12
511892GilfillanLizzieDykehead FarmStonehouse12
521892ThomsonRebeccaHill RoadStonehouse11
521892HamiltonGraceHill RoadStonehouse13
521892PellingJaneLawrie StreetStonehouse11
531892MillarAgnesKing StreetStonehouse12
531892WilsonChristinaUnion StreetStonehouse12
531892JacksonJanetCamnethan StreetStonehouse11
541892HartAgnesTrongate StreetStonehouse13
551893ScottLawrenceCamnethan StreetStonehouse13
551893MackieRobertHill RoadStonehouse12
551893HamiltonJames W.New StreetStonehouse12
561893BlackGeorge N.NewfieldStonehouse12
561893ThomsonRobertTownhead StreetStonehouse12
561893CurrMitchellKing StreetStonehouse13
571893GilmourHenry P.Kirk StreetStonehouse11
571893McPhaitWilliam118 Lawrie StreetStonehouse11
571893BarrieThomasKirk StreetStonehouse11
581893HamiltonJamesHill RoadStonehouse11
581893ScottWilliamCamnethan StreetStonehouse10
581893JacksonMaggieKing StreetStonehouse12
591893TorranceRobinaNew StreetStonehouse12
591893MuirMarionLawrie StreetStonehouse12
591893BrownMaggieLockhart StreetStonehouse12
601893WhyteMaggieLockhart StreetStonehouse13
601893GilmourRobinaKing StreetStonehouse12
601893MilesChristinaKing StreetStonehouse11
611893PlenderleithJanetAngle StreetStonehouse11
611893LeggateJessieAngle StreetStonehouse11
621893MacFieMaggieArgyle StreetStonehouse12
621894ThomsonMaggieCairnlea CottageStonehouse12
621894HamiltonMarion13 Kirk StreetStonehouse12
631894PettigrewJanet30 Lockhart StreetStonehouse12
631894LeggateMarionHill RoadStonehouse11
641894CurrieJessie31 King StreetStonehouse11
641894ShearerBarabara14 Union StreetStonehouse12
641894NelsonJessie18 Lawrie StreetStonehouse12
651894LeiperSarah2 Lockhart StreetStonehouse11
651894GrayJanet61 New StreetStonehouse12
651894BrownJohn15 King StreetCoatbridge11
661894KirklandWilliam10 Townhead StreetStonehouse12
661894HendersonThomasMount BlowStonehouse11
661894FroudeSam4 Queen StreetStonehouse12
661894AndersonJohnEaston CottageStonehouse12
661894HamiltonPeter4 Angle StreetStonehouse11
671894LeiperNathanielLoch Hall HouseStonehouse12
671894PlenderleithRobert46 Townhead StreetStonehouse12
671894GovanArchie13 Townhead StreetStonehouse12
671894BarrJohn36 Townhead StreetStonehouse11

Please note that the autographs can be viewed at our resource room and it is our intention to have these displayed in the members area.

E) Headmasters Diary / Log book 1881-1947

The group also possess two headmasters diaries which arrived in a sorry state. The group organised  and paid for  these to  re-coved and bound. The diaries were transcribed and are searchable  in the Members Section of the website. These give a daily account of the school events and social happenings in the school . Whilst the diaries record the attendance of pupils and teachers as well as the expenses of the school some interesting accounts can be found.  One such account recorded in the diary  was that a half day holiday was given to the pupils on 1st April, 1887 being the funeral of Rev. James Dunn, chairman of the school board and minister of the parish. The same Mr Dunn that opened the proceeding s on the school opening.  Another account advises that on May 18th, 1888 a similar holiday was given on the occasion of the laying of the Foundation Stone of the Public Hall.

We know that the school was refurbished again as another account advises that after the miner’s strike was over,  work resumed on the new part of Townhead School and on 2nd September, 1912 the reconstructed school was opened by a group of dignitaries. A gold key was presented to Mr. Naismith by the Architects, Measurers and Contractors.

F) Hamilton Advertiser Articles 

A series of articles written by the late Jean Leishman who was a former pupil and teacher at Townhead Primary were published in the Hamilton Advertiser and the following is a partial extract from the Hamilton Advertiser which provides details of the school opening.

“It was on 9th January, 1882 that the ‘commodious, neat and comfortable’ new Townhead Public School was opened by the School Board.  General Lockhart and his Lady, accompanied by Miss Dunn (sister of the parish minister) drove up to the gate, receiving a hearty cheer from the scholars, then came the gentlemen of the school board and waiting to meet them were Messrs. Smith (Architect), T & J Hamilton (joiners), Park (builder), Brown (painter), and Riddle (plumber). There were 186 scholars present and all were seated in the largest room.  A hymn was sung.

Rev. Mr. Dunn opened the proceedings with a prayer and read a chapter from the Book of Proverbs.  General Lockhart addressed the assembly and declared the school open.  The Revs. Messrs Dunn and Paterson followed with brief addresses chiefly as exhortations to the scholars.  The General announced a holiday for the remainder of the day and all dispersed. The scholars were very tidy and neat, and behaved ‘remarkably well’.  The staff consisted of three teachers working with the headmaster and in addition to the three “R’s”, Latin, French, Needlework, Singing, Geography and History were taught with pupils’ ages ranging from 4 to 14 years”.

Another article tells us that  an interesting visit was paid to the school in October 1883 when a former P.T. (pupil teacher) having graduated at Glasgow University accompanied by a friend from Palestine – ‘Sheik Selim Hishmek, guide of Stanley first discoverer of Livingstone’ –heard the pupils sing three songs in their honour.

A reading book that is mentioned in the infant classes being used to teach children is Infant Reader. The group have recently purchased an original copy of this book,  and a scanned copy can be opened using  the following hyper-link.

Infant Reader.

G) School Admission records

School Admission records are held by the group and cover the years 1881 to around 1950’s. The 1881 to 1906 records have been transcribed to excel and have been uploaded to the Members Section of  the website. It is anticipated that when the group has sufficient funds it will upload more of the admission records. You can contact the group to establish if we have any records of you ancestors at Townhead Primary from 1881. Email
These records are a great resource for anyone researching family history and  give details of previous schools attended , or if moved from the area indicating where they moved to.

The Borland Medal/Dux.

On the 6th June, 1924 the Headmaster of Townhead Primary School, Mr. A. McIntosh, wrote in his diary “I have received word from the Authority that a Gold Medal (from money left by the late Dr. Borland, Yarrow) is to be awarded to the Dux Scholar” i.e. the best scholar in the Senior year. The first medal was awarded to Robert Mitchell in 1924. This practice continued each year until 1936 when the rising price of gold made this practice difficult to continue so a watch or other prize was awarded instead until 1939 when a gold medal was again awarded during the war years until 1944. In 1946 it again became difficult to obtain a gold medal so War Savings Certificates were awarded in 1945/6. A prize was awarded each year until 1950 after which the practice ceased (or at least went unrecorded). It was revived in 1960, until 1967 then again discontinued between 1968 and 1980. The Borland Medal prize was revived again in 1981, until 1984 then again no record between 1985 and 1992. The practice was revived again by Mrs. McKenzie, the Head teacher, in 1993 as the Borland Prize for Endeav­our. This continued until 1996 and then nothing further is known.

The following is a list of medal winners kindly supplied by John Young.

Townhead school -Borland Medal Awards


The school was upgraded in 2011-2012 when South Lanarkshire council as part of their schools replacement plans awarded a contract to Lend lease. The old school was demolished with a new school building being retained on the exisitng  site.  The  following document provides the specification and drawings of the new school.


During the refurbishment the old well was also uncovered and capped. The main entrance to the old school was retained and is incorporated into the new build.

The current school has a website whose web address is

The following gallery give an indication of the refurbishment work carried out in 2011-2012