8934: SSPCK Parish School, Keose

The first schools established by the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SSPCK) in Lewis were at Barvas and Keose. In 1737 the SSPCK established the Parish School in Lochs and Mr James Thomson was appointed as headmaster and Catechist at Keose, where he remained until 1744 when he was transferred to Barvas.

Mr William MacNeil succeeded him and his salary from SSPCK was 5 per annum plus 1 from the committee managing the Royal Bounty. He stayed until 1748 when John Maclennan, Elder at Keose, replaced Mr Macneil.

The Parish School was closed in 1878 although it is probable that the Gaelic School Society were responsible for the school before this date. After the building was no longer occupied, the Rev Ewen Campbell wanted to acquire the land on which the school stood. This was owned by the Lochs School Board (of which Mr Campbell was a member). He wrote to the board in a letter dated 7th September 1887 requesting that the ownership of the school be transferred to him as a private individual.

The request was unanimously rejected but Mr Campbell took matters into his own hands. He demolished the school and cleared the site. The School Board reacted angrily to this action and sold the site to the Lochs Parochial Board for the sum of 25 in June 1888. The Parochial Board had been looking for a site for a house and surgery for the parish doctors, who since the post of “doctor of the parish of Lochs” had been created in 1875, had been without a permanent dwelling.

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Building or Public Amenity
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