Samuel Douglas's Free School

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Samuel Douglas, had also made good as a merchant in Savannah, Georgia and later as a plantation owner in Jamaica. At the time of his death in 1799 Samuel Douglas had amassed a great fortune. He left a large sum of money for the sole purpose of establishing a school in the town of Newton Stewarl.

Douglas House was built in 1832/1834 with funds bequeathed by Samuel Douglas of Jamaica in 1799 for the provision of a Free School in Newton Stewart. The Architect, John Henderson of Edinburgh, designed the building which forms a Grade I listed, rectangular School with Central tower of Sandstone construction with slate roof set on an elevated podium.

To the rear of the School building is a substantial 19th Century house with rubble walls and sandstone margins. The building was formerly used by the local Council and latterly fell into disrepair. The house has been sympathetically renovated by the present owners who have sourced traditional fixtures and fittings to replace items previously removed, and great care has been taken over the style of interior decoration. The house itself offers extensive accommodation over 2½ storeys with 5 Bath/Shower rooms, 5/6 Bedrooms and 3 large Public rooms.

The former School is nw a house and antiques business; it was built as the Douglas Free School, bequeathed to the people of Newton Stewart by Samuel Douglas in 1799. The school remained in use until 1922 at which time all free education was transferred to Ewart High School. Thereafter the building housed many civic services such as the public health department, civil defence, driving test centre, tourist information etc (memorabilia is on display for all to see). In the 1980s the building was left empty and became derelict before being offered to sale. It was purchased in 2005 and since then has been gradually restored.



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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017