Well Road and the Schools of Moffat
Air View of Well Road Centre
The Schools at Well Road ...
From the 1600s Moffat was developed from a sleepy little market town to a prosperous Victorian spa town, making use of "healing properties" in its water. It was during this time that many of the buildings you see today in Well Road
were erected as permanent dwellings by their wealthy visitors. The fine architectural features including ornate
plasterwork, fire places, woodwork and elegant 6-panel stained glass window are typical examples of the craftsmanship and attention to detail of the time. The fact that the building survives to this day is testimony to its sound construction.
The Ornate Entrance Hall
The Stained Glass Panels in the Staircase
Warriston School for Boys...
This is one reason why the Well Road Centre has such remarkably extensive accommodation and facilities. The other reason was its conversion to a private school - one of several in Moffat.
Burnbrae House was the main building of Warriston School For Boys, named after the famous Covenanting lawyer Archibald Johnstone, Lord Warriston. Other now-demolished buildings stood where modern housing was constructed over the past twenty years. The school
had pupils from all over the world, keeping going under the name of Warriston
up until its closure as a school in 1979.
There is a picture in Jane Boyd's "Old Moffat" with the building of the Well Road Centre in the
background. The picture is dated at 1863 and features "Vicarlands", another big building. As there is a date inscribed
1879 on the Well Road Centre, either the picture was taken later than is thought, or the 1879 date was added after the
building's completion. The answer to this puzzle has still to be resolved.
St. Ninian's Boys Preparatory School, Moffat
St. Ninian's Boys Preparatory School...
The most famous of the vanished Moffat private schools - due to associations with Air Vice Marshal Hugh Dowding 'Father of the RAF' - was Dowding's father's
school of St. Ninian, now converted to the RAFA home for ex-servicemen. The Dowding family had moved to Moffat in 1879 when his father left Fettes College in
Edinburgh after three years as an Assistant Master. Arthur Dowding and his colleague, a Mr. Churchill, established St. Ninian's Boys Preparatory School in Moffat.
Hugh Dowding was born in Moffat in 1882, living in Moffat for his first fifteen years. He went to Winchester College on a scholarship and later joined the Army
His family moved in 1897 down to England, where by 1901 Dowding was able to note the achievements of the early aviators such as Orville and Wilbur Wright and
Louis Bleriot. More on Dowding>>>
Click for Map
From the A74 take the turning for Moffat and enter the High Street (town square).
Turning to the right around the shops on the south side of the square, follow Holm Street south and east to the
T-junction with Burnside just before the bridge. Turn left into Burnside, following it up and to the right into Well Road. Continue on up Well Road to just past the junction with Sidmount
Avenue until you see the sign for Well Road Centre to your left. If you come as far as Ballplay Road, then you will have slightly overshot the turning for the Centre.
Ben8363@aol.com for more information.
Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the details shown in this
site are correct, we cannot accept responsibility for errors contained
herein or the results thereof.
Enquiries (although not bookings) can also be forwarded by
e-mail through :-
All text and images © 1999 Richard Edkins of Dalbeattie Internet.
Well Road Centre webpages built
Town Server on 1st December 1999
last updated 24th November 2011.
3rd December 2002.