Skip Navigation / Jump to Content



Beginnings: Early times to 1560

Learning and Beliefs


By Bart McGettrick

Glasgow has a long tradition in education. The possibility is that there was some form of education as early as the 6th Century when the Church authorities had established Glasgow as a religious centre. The Diocese of Glasgow was established between 540 and 560AD by St Kentigern (or Mungo) who died in 601AD.

The main period of stability for the area after 1115 was when John Eochy (or Achaius) was bishop succeeded by a further twenty-three bishops until 1560. This continuity of governance led to continuity of spiritual development. It also led to the development of specialist institutions which became schools.

One of the earliest schools was a ‘Song School’ (‘sang school’), equivalent to the more modern Choir School associated with Cathedrals, and much education was undertaken by the Church.

Not all schools were, however, in the hands of the Church authorities. The documented evidence for schools in Glasgow indicates that there was a Grammar School in existence by 1460. This was under the patronage of the burgh councillors, and was located outside the precinct of the Church, on the west side of the High Street in Grammar School Wynd (later Greyfriars Wynd, or Nicholas Street). It was the Town Council which appointed the Rector and the nature of education was developed with a broad curriculum and clear attention to the social needs of the city.

Already the schools of Glasgow were being associated with the University, established in 1451, and a coherent system of education was emerging.

Quick Search

Photo Album

You have 0 images in your photo album.

View Photo Album

Log-In (Optional)

Not a user? Register now for FREE!

Other Options