A rectangular-plan, single storey, gabled former school room from 1844 which is now a museum. The building is squared red sandstone rubble with pinnings and has a base course. There are three large window openings to the north and south elevations and two window openings to the east (rear) elevation. The windows have raised cills and those to the south and east have hoodmoulding above. The west elevation has a central gabled porch with a Tudor-arched entrance to the south with boarded timber doors. There is a later timber ramp leading to the entrance.
The windows are timber sash and case with a 6-over 6-glazing pattern. The roof has grey slates and large skylight windows and there are two gable chimney stacks with no cans. There are shallow, ridged skews to the building and the porch which have flat ends and projecting mouldings below.
There are rubble boundary walls to the north and south and a coped boundary wall to the west with railings.
Statement of Special Interest
Meigle Museum is a former school building, dating to 1844, which has retained its traditional plan form and is part of the streetscape and history of the village of Meigle. Built in 1844, the building predates the sudden increase in school buildings following the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act and is rare in retaining its 19th century plan form. The building has some decorative features in its stonework, skews and hoodmoulding which give it a distinctive character.
Age and Rarity
Meigle Museum was built in 1844 as the parish school for Meigle Parish (Gifford 2007). It is depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, published in 1867 with the same footprint as now and is described in the New Statistical Account of 1834-45 as teaching 'the usual branches of education …., also Latin, Greek, geography and practical mathematics.' A new school was built in Meigle in 1876 following the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act and it is probable that Meigle Museum ceased to be a school at that time. The building houses a number of 8th and 9th century Pictish carved stones, the majority of which were found locally.
The 1696 Education Act established the principle of a school for every parish in Scotland. However, attendance was not compulsory. In the 18th and 19th century school buildings were typically of a domestic scale and of traditional construction, as here, as one or two rooms was adequate. The 1872 Education (Scotland) Act placed responsibility for education in the hands of locally elected school boards and elementary education was made compulsory for all children aged 5 to 13. The boards were also responsible for providing adequate school buildings and there was a sudden increase in school building in Scotland. School buildings dating before the 1872 Act and surviving in or near to their 19th century form are rare.
Dating to 1844, Meigle Museum has retained much of its 19th century form and setting and uses some traditional architectural features for decorative effect. These are discussed in more detail below.
Architectural or Historic Interest
The interior was not seen and has not been taken into account in this assessment. However, photographs taken by Historic Scotland in 2012 show an open timber roof over a large open space housing museum artefacts. There are no apparent internal features of 19th century date remaining. See under 'Other Information' for further detail.
The simple rectangular form with added porch is standard for a mid-19th century school building. It can be seen in Kellas, Dundee (LB17460), for example. Many pre-1872 school buildings have had extensions added to their 19th century plan-form as their use has altered. Meigle Museum is unusual in retaining its 19th century form as depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map.
Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality
Red sandstone is a standard building material in this area of Perthshire, which lies close to the Angus border. The builder has used a number of traditional techniques in the building for decorative effect which include the placing of small pinning stones between the squared rubble in a vertical row. Other techniques are the hoodmoulds above the windows, the Tudor-arched entrance and the ridged skews with long bases. These add a distinctive character to the building.
Meigle Museum is situated in the centre of the village and is set back from the road with the gable end facing the street. There are later houses to the immediate north and south. The building sits to the south of the Parish Church and is one of the surviving buildings from the 19th century village.
There are no known regional variations.
Close Historical Associations
There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2016).
Statutory address, category of listing and listed building record revised in 2016. Previously listed as 'Meigle Museum'.