Originally known as Cumloden School
Despite its tiny size, the 1849 Ordnance Survey Map tells us that Glenmalloch Lodge was originally known as Cumloden School. The New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845) tells us further that ‘The Countess of Galloway has a charity school near Cumloden Cottage, where 25 girls are instructed in reading, writing, arithmetic and needlework, by a female teacher.’ Lady Galloway was the wife of Randolph, 9th Earl of Galloway. In 1827, then as Lord Garlies, Randolph bought the Cumloden estate from his uncle Lt. General Sir William Stewart, 4th son of the 7th Earl.
Sir William was a career soldier, a colleague of both Nelson and the Duke of Wellington and he had bought the Cumloden estate in 1817 for his retirement. It was Sir William who built Cumloden House, originally a thatched cottage orné; he laid out its gardens and walled the deer park that encloses Garlies Wood. He is also said to have loved to look out upon the ruins of Garlies Castle, the first seat of the ancient Stewart line that lies to the north of Glenmalloch Lodge. From 1740, the main seat had been Galloway House, but from the time of the 9th Earl, Cumloden House became a summer hunting lodge and, after the sale of Galloway House in 1908, the family’s main seat.
During 40 years of marriage the 9th Earl and his wife Harriet orchestrated and financed a formidable programme of educational and social welfare initiatives across their estates. They ran clothing clubs and competitions for the best kept cottages. They paid school fees for those who would otherwise have been unable to attend the parish schools and ran several schools at their own expense. In Newton Stewart, Lord Galloway founded an infant school for over a hundred pupils and Lady Galloway a school of industry for girls and the charity school at Cumloden.
A headstone in the Old Kirkyard at Monigaff records that Jane Ranken was teacher at the Cumloden school, from its probable construction date of 1836, until her niece Wilhelmina Masson took over in 1845. Both mistresses went on to teach at Lady Galloway’s school in Newton Stewart. While offering an important chance for girls from outlying crofts, Cumloden School probably closed soon after the Education Act of 1872, which provided compulsory education for all and from 1889 was also free for all. By 1894 the building was marked on the OS map as 'Park Lodge' and by 1904 was known as 'Glenmalloch Lodge,' the name we have kept. So far it has not been possible to trace any of its inhabitants after Miss Masson but it had stood empty and derelict since the 1960s, without water or electricity, victim of its own isolated and lovely setting. In 2003, Solway Heritage contacted the Landmark Trust to ask if we could help. A long lease was agreed with the Cumloden Estate and with a grant from Historic Scotland and donations from private trusts and individuals, the former schoolhouse has been sensitively restored within that setting.
For a short history of Glenmalloch Lodge please click here.
To read the full history album for Glenmalloch Lodge please click here.