Rockfield Primary School (Former), Rockfield Road, Oban

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Rockfield Primary School (Former)
Other Name(s)
Rockfield Road, Oban
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NM 86046 29952
Location Type
HS Reference No


2 storeys over partially exposed raised basement, with 14-bay principal facade. Asymmetrical school building with French style detailing, built into hillside. H-plan main block with 1901 addition to N end, and square 3-storey tower in S re-entrant angle. Bull-faced squared and snecked basement, stugged, squared and snecked sandstone walls, and stugged dressings to quoins and chamfered openings.

A very complete and little altered example of a Board School, its building instigated by the 1872 Education Act. Dean of Guild plans record "new lavatories, coal cellars etc at Public School for Oban School Board 1894, Minor alterations 1894, and New classrooms, playsheds etc by Alexander Shairp, architect 1901". (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
1873; 1894; 1901
Possibly Alexander Shairp; 1894 additions Alexander Shairp;

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Main building back in use
Field Visits
16/9/2009, 24/6/2012, 25/06/2019
Development History
September 2009: External inspection finds the former school is vacant and being advertised for sale following the building of a new primary school in Aug 2007. The Oban Times reported in Aug 2009 that, following a feasibility study in 2007/8 which favoured community use for the property, the property was marketed for sale but only attracted one bid.
January 2012: The Oban Times reports Argyll and Bute Council is intending to approach Historic Scotland to review the listed status of the school.
16 April 2012: The former school remains on the market for sale, offers over £475,000, by Argyll and Bute Council.
24 June 2012: External inspection finds the building remains empty and boarded up. Gutters are blocked and there is weed growth and evidence of vandalism in the form of graffiti. The playground is in use as a car park and there is open access across the site but all the buildings appear secure. The building remains under marketing by Argyll and Bute Council at offers in excess of £475,000.
2 October 2012: Argyll and Bute Council is hosting a developer day on October 4 to stimulate interest in the sale and development of the former school. The event will provide access to the buildings with representatives from Historic Scotland and the planning and conservation representatives from the Council to answer questions on redevelopment or conservation of the property. The event will also take in Kilbowie House which is shortly to be marketed for sale.
16 February 2016: Oban Communities Trust purchased the former school in May 2015 with various renovation works underway to the school building and surrounding grounds. Some parts of the building have been brought back into use with a Design Team being tendered for the full regeneration of the building. A recent (Jan 2016) award of £18,000 from the Crerar Trust is being used towards the creation of a pilot programme of cultural activities and events at the site. Listed Building Consent for the demolition of a school classroom annexe is being sought ref: 16/00268/LIB.
14 May 2018: Listed Building Consent for a mixed community re-use of the site is being sought ref: 18/00740/LIB.
25 June 2019: External inspection finds restoration works are under way. Scaffolding has been erected and some repair works are visible. Consent was granted for the refurbishment of former school to form mixed use centre for community wellbeing/arts & culture/heritage and enterprise in June 2018, ref: 18/00740/LIB. Move to Restoration in Progress.
27 April 2020: Listed Building Consent (20/00561/LIB) being sought for erection of single storey extension, and change of use of former play shelter to form educational traditional skills demonstration resource and exhibitions and demonstration space.
6 January 2022: Main building is back in use as reported by the Courier (04/01/2022), but understood that the Trust is exploring options to repair the ancillary structures.
7 January 2022: Press & Journal reports (04/01/2022) that the former primary school has been fully refurbished into a community centre, with activities based around the four themes of arts and culture, education and enterprise, history and heritage, and community wellbeing.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Oban Communities Trust
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit