The school was built in 1851 as a direct result of the Disruption of 1843 when the disquiet within the Church of Scotland over patronage reached a climax. The result was that a number of congregations split and formed the new Free Church of Scotland. In 1867 the new Free Church was built in Campbeltown, the building, now the Heritage Centre, is known as the Tartan Kirk. At that time most schools were church schools and it was important that a school was built quickly.

The Free Church surrendered the school to the School Board established under the 1872 Education Act and finally ceased operation as a school when the provision of mainstream schooling increased. Alexander Ross was the only teacher at the Free Church School throughout its years of operation. The building was returned to the Church and until recently was used as a store though some folk remember it being home to the Assessor’s office.



With funding assistance the Kintyre Amenity Trust worked to restore the old school which is now fully realised into Campbeltown Backpackers bunkhouse facility.



View more about the development on our blog >


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Above: Bunkhouse Before



Above: Bunkhouse After


Highlands & Islands EnterpriseThe European Agricultural FundThe Scottish GovernmentArgyll & The Islands LeaderStrathclyde Building Preservation TrustArgyll & Bute CouncilHeritage Lottery Fund


Kintyre Amenity Trust Charity No: SCO22113