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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 01/02/2007


  • Local Authority: Argyll And Bute
  • Planning Authority: Argyll And Bute
  • Burgh: Dunoon

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNS 17332 76577
  • Coordinates217332, 676577


William Fraser, 1899-1901. 1907 additions by Boston, Menzies and Morton; gymnasium wing by Robert Cameron, 1934. 2-storey and attic 13-bay Free style Board School with Baronial and Gothic detailing. Prominent central castellated 4-stage tower and advanced gabled bays. Cement render with exposed sandstone ashlar long and short quoins and margins. Base course and string courses, moulded to 1st floor; some hoodmoulding. Mullioned and transomed bipartite and single light windows, round-arched windows with cinquefoil heads to 1st floor. Bracketed eaves; applied half-timbering to gable apexes at sides and rear

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: pointed-arch 2-leaf timber door with glazed vesica panels set in deeply recessed hoodmoulded surround at base of tower between diagonal buttresses at centre of near symmetrical NW (principal) elevation. Round headed windows at 1st floor, arrow slits at 2nd; modillion cornice between tourelles corbelled out at 3rd. Flanking advanced gable bays with projecting central sections and distinctive Venetian gothic arched windows at attic. Shallow pointed-arched openings to pends at recessed outer bays.

9-bay SE (rear) elevation with advanced gabled bay to left; Venetian-gothic arched window to gablehead. 2-storey 4-bay pitched-roofed projecting wing to right of centre. Small-pane glazing set in timber sash and case windows. Grey slate. Cast iron rainwater goods.

1907, 2-storey T-plan piend-roofed wing projecting to NE with Mackintosh inspired detailing. Base course and string courses. Pair of shouldered gables to N elevation.

INTERIOR: steel stairs with decorative cast-iron balusters. Timber panelling and tiling to dado. Timber trussed roof to assembly hall.

JANITORS HOUSE: single storey and attic cottage adjoining school with 2-storey projecting canted window with dentilled eaves cornice. Distinctive piended roof extending down over porch. Rendered masonry with exposed ashlar dressings. Multi-pane upper sashes and plate glass lower in timber sash and case windows.

Statement of Special Interest

Dunoon Primary School is a fine example of the board schools which were constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and makes good use of a variety of international architectural motifs. The building is large and imposing and the tower is a striking landmark feature. As a whole the school makes a major contribution to the streetscape.

Prior to the 1870s schools were divided into four broad groups, parish or burgh schools, private academies, church schools and charity school. The 1872 Education (Scotland) Act made primary education universal and compulsory. This caused a huge demand for space to accommodate the influx of children and although existing schools were adapted, many new buildings were also required. This was particularly the case in the burghs and cities. Dunoon Primary demonstrates the architectural quality these buildings could display, particularly at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries.

The architect William Fraser had designed this building as an extension to an earlier school building, shown on the 2nd edition ordnance survey map, which burned down in 1958. Fraser worked with John McLeod in Glasgow and William Warlow Gwyther in London, before setting up a private practice in Glasgow. The firm of Boston Menzies and Morton, responsible for the 1907 additions to the school, began as the sole practice of John Boston but was taken over following his death by William Menzies and George Morton. Their notable works include the Greenock Masonic Temple and Clune Park Church in Glasgow. Robert Cameron was the Master of Works for the Argyll County Education Authority.



3rd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1914-15). F Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute, (2000), p233. Dictionary of Scottish Architects,

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

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