The Old Schoolhouse at Logie is one of the best preserved vernacular earth-built structures in Scotland, erected in the mid-nineteenth century to serve a growing population of mill workers on the nearby North Esk. The site chosen for …
The Old Schoolhouse at Logie is one of the best preserved vernacular earth-built structures in Scotland, erected in the mid-nineteenth century to serve a growing population of mill workers on the nearby North Esk. The site chosen for the school was adjacent to the village manse which had become redundant and whose ruins are still visible some twenty meters to the south of the school. A lack of workable stone in the area meant that the local building tradition was to work with clay mixed with aggregate and straw to form massive load baring walls with stone, lime mortar, and brick being used sparingly and where there was a specific performance requirement. Internally the earth walls were finished with a fine white lime plaster on the hard while the exterior would have been provided with a protective lime harl or overcladding.
In its original form The Old Schoolhouse was a relatively simple structure of three rooms consisting of a large classroom space, and two small rooms for the schoolmaster’s use. By the turn of the century the building ceased to function as a school and had become a Sunday School. With this change of use came some alterations which included a complete re-roofing and the lining out of the classroom with lath and plaster above a boarded dado. In 1929 the building was acquired by the United Free Church to serve as a place for worship and acquired an entry porch with small bellcote and cast iron bell. The final church service was held in 1990 when the keys were returned to the Craigo Estate and the building abandoned. The property was in a perilous state when neighbours brought it to the attention of Historic Scotland who recognised its significance and
immediately granted it a category ‘A’ listing as a building of national or international importance.
The Old Schoolhouse was purchased by the National Trust for Scotland under the Little Houses improvement Scheme in 2005. The LHIS operates as a revolving fund building preservation trust
which acquires buildings at risk, repairs them, and sells them upon completion with proceeds returned to the revolving fund. Working with support from Historic Scotland and Angus Council a program
of sensitive repairs was undertaken. These followed a “conserve as found” methodology which preserved the patina of age and made minimal impact on the building’s significant fabric and layout. Much
of the work concentrated on the repair of the underlying earth walls which were undertaken using air dried mud bricks sourced from clay pits in surrounding fields. The east porch was substantially
rebuilt employing as much cladding materials as could be retained covering a new timber structure. While the emphasis was clearly on conservation, the intent was to create a unique home which would
both respect the property’s significance and provide modern levels of amenity and comfort.
Repairs were completed in 2009 and the project received a number of awards including a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award; the highest building conservation prize in
Europe. The Old Schoolhouse is a rare survivor of a once common building technique and is of international significance as one of a few lowland examples of vernacular earth construction left in
Scotland. The quality of its conservation has been acknowledged in the numerous awards which the schoolhouse has garnered and its unique charms will be immediately evident upon inspection.
Entrance vestibule with flag stone flooring and doors leading to the main public room, utility and cloakroom. The cloakroom has stone flooring and an exposed brick wall whilst the utility room has solid
wood work surface, space for washing machine and a cupboard. The old school classroom now provides an exquisite public room with deep red lime washed walls, wood flooring and light grey painted wood panelling to dado height, eight windows in total, most of which feature original panes of glass and a lovely open fireplace. The kitchen area is fitted with a range of custom built base and wall units with solid wood work surfaces. The double bedroom is generous in size and has wood flooring and the en-suite bathroom is beautifully appointed. There is a stunning, original stove fire with black stone
hearth and wood mantle.
Ground Floor: Vestibule, cloak room, utility room, lounge & kitchen on open plan, double bedroom and ensuite bathroom.
The property stands in generous sized grounds with gardens extending to the front, side and rear which are mainly laid to lawn. The ruins of the Old Manse are to the rear of the property and form a unique garden. A driveway provides parking and there is a bin store which has been constructed using the same materials of the building with massed earth wall on a brick base with lime pointing and a
straw thatched roof. In addition there is a garden store.
NATIONAL TRUST FOR SCOTLAND
Due to the history and importance of this building’s continued future a schedule of significant features and a maintenance guide has been produced and should be regarded as supplemental information to a normal pattern of care of the building. The significant features and setting of the property will be protected by a title condition in favour of the National Trust for Scotland.
Please note the property is currently vacant and unfurnished. The photos are from when a former tenant was in occupation.