New exhibition celebrates 200 years under the dome at Montrose Academy

Pictured, from the left, are: Angus Provost Helen Oswald, Rector Dr John Cavanagh, former pupil Jean Thomson, former rectors George Stachura, Alec Mouat and Harry Faulkner with S1 pupil Logan Weston.
Pictured, from the left, are: Angus Provost Helen Oswald, Rector Dr John Cavanagh, former pupil Jean Thomson, former rectors George Stachura, Alec Mouat and Harry Faulkner with S1 pupil Logan Weston.

Pupils and staff at Montrose Academy have been celebrating the school’s bicentenary this year.

And now an exhibition exploring the school’s history has been unveiled.

The exhibition - 200 Years Under the Dome - is now on display at Montrose Museum and includes artefacts from the Academy’s archives, uniforms through the ages, an old desk and information boards.

The exhibition was officially opened on Friday (September 4) and was attended by school staff and pupils, Angus Provost Helen Oswald, four former rectors, former pupils and teachers and elected members.

At the opening, one of the oldest former pupils and teachers, Jean Thomson, met one of the youngest pupils currently at the school, S1 student Logan Weston.

Dr John Cavanagh, rector of the Academy, told the Review: “There has been a real buzz about the school this year.

“With the exhibition the aims is to show the history of the Academy, its traditions and its pedigree and leave a legacy to ensure it still stands in the next 200 years.

“I believe it is the only school in Scotland that has a dome.

“It is a school I am very proud to lead. “

Dr Cavanagh explained there had been a teaching establishment on the site of the Academy since the 1300s.

Montrose Academy was founded in 1815 and succeeded the ancient Grammar School of Montrose as the principal centre of education in the town.

The original building, with its impressive dome, was designed and built in 1815 by David Logan. It contained three classrooms on the ground floor with an additional three classrooms on the first floor and one extra room within the dome. It was extended either side in 1841.

After World War Two the Academy’s copper dome was covered in gold leaf as a war memorial.

David May, former deputy rector at Montrose Academy and member of the school’s bicentenary committee, said: “It is a fabulous exhibition thanks to the museum staff, other council staff and staff at the school.

“I’m sure local people, visitors to the town and ex-Montrosians will find it absolutely fascinating.”

Money towards the display was donated by several local groups, including Montrose Community Council, Montrose Area Partnership, Montrose Emergency Services Group and Montrose Heritage Trust.

Mr May said: “Without them the exhibition would not have gone ahead.”

200 Years Under the Dome will be on display at Montrose Museum until January 30 and once the exhibition finishes the information boards will be installed on a wall at the back the Academy’s assembly hall.

Mr May added: “When the exhibition came about I wanted to make sure the information boards would be able to enjoyed by pupils in years to come.”

The display at the museum is the latest in a series of events celebrating the Academy’s 200th anniversary - already a time capsule has been buried after the original one to mark the school’s opening was accidently dug up in the 1950s, an open weekend has been held and new blazers have been introduced.