Celebrating 100 years at Tollcross Primary School – 1912 to 2012
In 2012 Tollcross Primary School was 100 years old. Our centenary celebrations included a whole school concert, celebrating each decade our school had “lived” through and a centenary picnic at Harrison Park. Mrs Robertson, one of our Learning Assistants, compiled a short history of our school, including the mystery of the Egyptian Gates.
A Short History of Tollcross Primary School
In 1896, Andrew Usher, a well-known philanthropist and son of the famous distilling family, made an offer to the City Council of £100,000 to found a Concert Hall for the people of Edinburgh. The site chosen for the Concert Hall was that of Lothian Road Public School.
As a result a new school had to be built and the site of the City Slaughterhouse on Fountainbridge was chosen. Pupils from Lothian Road Public School were “decanted “to a school in West Fountainbridge, until the new school was completed. The architect of the school was John Alexander Carfrae (born 1868). He had worked for Robert Wilson, architect to the Edinburgh School Board, taking over from him in 1901.
Tollcross Primary School, as we see it today, is situated on the site of the former Municipal Slaughterhouse of Fountainbridge. The slaughterhouse was right on the kerbside but it was decided to set the school building back from the road as it gave an opportunity for Fountainbridge to be widened.The only part of the original slaughterhouse, which is still standing today, is what we know as the Janitor’s House. The ornate “Egyptian” style frontage was taken down and stored, with a view to being re-erected at a later date. However it has never been found!