NS3875 : Helenslee Road

taken 11 years ago, near to Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Helenslee Road
Helenslee Road
Behind the wall, to the left of the road, are the former grounds of Keil School; see NS3875 : Helenslee House / Keil School for the main description.

However, a few of the school's properties were located on the other (eastern) side of Helenslee Road; on that side (to the right in this photograph) was Islay Kerr House, which accommodated some of the school's boarding pupils. Islay Kerr was a business associate and long-time friend of the founder of Keil School, William Mackinnon. The building was acquired for the school in 1963, and had formerly been called "Dunstane"; the architect was A.C.Denny (see the tags associated with this photograph).

[According to his obituary, which was published in the Glasgow Herald issue of 10th December 1951, Islay Kerr had been largely responsible for Keil School's move from the original site at Southend (in Kintyre) to Helenslee in Dumbarton, and "it was at his suggestion that the governors bought part of an adjoining field to prevent the encroachment of a projected housing scheme on the policies of the school".]

The boarding houses for pupils at Keil School were: Islay Kerr House, just mentioned; School House (these pupils stayed in the main school building, the mansion house of Helenslee itself, where a mezzanine floor included many dormitories); Mason House (see NS3875 : Keil Gardens); and New House, latterly called Mackinnon House (see NS3875 : Former stables and technical block). Non-boarding pupils, a minority, made up an additional "day house".

The origins of the names Islay Kerr House and Mackinnon House are clear from the above account. Mason House was named after Mr James Mason, an early headmaster of the school.

Also formerly located on the eastern side of Helenslee Road, but now gone, was another building, which incorporated chemistry and biology classrooms.
Keil School

An independent school founded at Keil House (NR67670788), at the southern tip of Kintyre, in 1915. After a disastrous fire, it relocated, in 1925, to the mansion house of Helenslee (NS38677506), which is in the Kirktonhill area of Dumbarton. The school remained there until its final closure in 2000. The building itself subsequently remained unoccupied, and it was damaged by fire early in 2013. A housing development was created around it; Helenslee House itself was supposed to be restored as a part of that development, but, as of the end of 2016, that has not yet occurred.

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NS3875, 118 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 24 March, 2011   (more nearby)
Thursday, 31 March, 2011
Geographical Context
Roads, Road transport 
Place (from Tags)
Architect (from Tags)
Alexander Cochran Denny 
Road > Road   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3882 7519 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.5587N 4:34.9410W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3880 7509
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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