Return to Academy Info

School History

From 1603 the town of Elgin had two schools – the Grammar School which instructed the pupils in Grammar and was sited on the corner of what is now Commerce Street, and also The Sang School or English School which, among other studies, instructed its pupils in the playing of  monaccords, lutes, ungindlies and scistors.  This school was situated on the lands of Maisondieu.  However, in 1791, the Town Council of Elgin planned to bring the two schools together and form a new “Academy”.

In 1800, after public subscription, the new “Academy” was built on the corner of Francis Place and Academy Street and was officially opened in 1801.  By 1884 these buildings had become inadequate for the increasing roll of children and so again the Town Council looked for public subscription to pay for new buildings.  Again these were found and a new school was built in Moray Street and opened for use in 1886.  The roll of pupils outgrew the Moray Street buildings and so, in 1964, work was started on the old buildings at Morriston.  These were completed and opened in 1969. This school was demolished and replaced by the current buildings in 2012.

Pupils’ views on Elgin Academy

Don’t worry about getting lost!  The school is easy to get used to, just watch out for the one way system.  You will all find it easy to make friends.  There is a whole range of different people to meet!

Pupil of West End Primary School

I am really enjoying myself at the Academy, making new friends, meeting nice teachers, NOT getting lost!  I’m basically having fun.  I was excited more than nervous.  In a week you know where you are going and the sixth years are really nice.

Pupil of Seafield Primary School  

I’m getting on well at Elgin Academy and it is great fun.  I have joined the Elgin Academy girl’s football team.  My thoughts are it’s great and you have different subjects.  I was nervous because I thought I would get lost and it was a bit scary moving from a little school to a BIG one.

A senior pupil comments:

Before coming to Elgin Academy there is one thing that you should know; it’s not nearly as scary as you think!  It feels like only yesterday when I was preparing to go to secondary school and now I’m in the 6th Year having thoroughly enjoyed my time at Elgin Academy.  When I was at the stage that you are at now I can remember being terrified but all my fears were ended when I found out what the school was like.  The friendly pupils and teachers will help you settle in easily and the great opportunities both in class and out will help you to become one of the hundreds of pupils who love Elgin Academy.  So I hope you are looking forward to coming here and don’t worry about it!


Permanent link to this article:


Skip to comment form

    • George Sutherland on Sunday 28 February 2016 at 14:40
    • Reply

    Hello, just wondering if you have any information (especially a photograph) of a former art teacher at the school who has recently died. Crear McCartney was an art teacher in the school following as period (1955-60) when he was manager of the stained glass studio project at Pluscarden Abbey. He subsequently became Principal Art Teacher at Lesmahagow High In Lanarkshire. before setting up as a freelance stained glass artist. Among his most prestigious projects were “windows” in St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney, Dornoch Cathedral, St Michael’s Church in Linlithgow, Stirting Castle great hall and Eval Church in Cornwall. He died last week with a celebration of his life a Biggar Kirk this coming Friday.

    • admin on Sunday 28 February 2016 at 16:41
    • Reply

    Passed to Admin Officer for action.

    • Anne Darrell on Friday 18 March 2016 at 13:53
    • Reply

    Several of my ancestors, specifically George, Robert and James Daun, attended Elgin Grammar School from about 1775 – about 1830, and other members of the family seem to have done so later. I would be interested to know if the School retains any records of these family members.

    • Susan Johns on Sunday 22 October 2017 at 05:40
    • Reply

    I have a photograph of a medal awarded to William Y Sim as the best scholar attending the English Department of the Elgin Academy in June 1855. It was presented by the Edinburgh Morayshire Society. Would this have been the school he attended? Unfortunately he was killed during WW1. He came out to Australia before he went to war.

    • Michael Moss on Thursday 19 December 2019 at 18:04
    • Reply

    This may seem odd but is true. I am working on the history of Macallan Distillery which was founded by Alexander Reid, tacksman (tennant) of Easter Elchies. He began his career as a schoolteacher in Elgin and ‘retired’ to Easter Elchies, a substantial estate in 1820 when he was thirty. I wonder if by any chance you have any reference to him. He would not be alone in changing career. Smith of Olrig in Caithnes followed the same path from schoolteaching to farming.

    best wishes

    Michael Moss

      • admin on Sunday 5 January 2020 at 22:39
      • Reply

      We haven’t any records from the old school let alone the Academy based in South Street (where Alexander Graham Bell also taught). The council pinched them all 😎 Perhaps try the Heritage link via the library on Kind regards David

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


The Academy is now CLOSED to staff and students until further notice. Details of admission of key workers' children to follow