Duncanrig Secondary School

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Duncanrig Secondary School in 2012

Duncanrig Secondary School was designed in 1953 by the Scottish architect Basil Spence. The school was most likely named after the farm Duncanrig in that area. The school was part of the development of the new town of East Kilbride in the South Lanarkshire council area in Scotland.

Spence is perhaps better known for his design of Coventry Cathedral, the "Beehive" building in New Zealand or the British Embassy in Rome amongst many others. Although Spence was to design in the modern Brutalist mould the school he designed at East Kilbride was far from that, being entirely playful and theatrical.

A feature of the school building was a large mural by William Crosbie (1915 - 1999) representing the history of the Clyde. This was located at the main entrance, visible through a floor to roofline, two storey glass wall. Crosbie's paintings hang in all the major museums and galleries in Scotland as well as the Royal Collection and the British Museum in London, and in private collections throughout the United Kingdom and abroad.[1]

The building was demolished in 2007. A new school was erected on the original playing fields, replacing the original building as part of South Lanarkshire's Schools modernisation programme.[2] It officially opened in 2008. The new building was designed to be available to the community, incorporating indoor and outdoor sports facilities including a floodlit all-weather synthetic pitch, the home of the Friday Football Project.

The modernisation programme included the merger of Duncanrig Secondary School with Ballerup High School, retaining the name Duncanrig Secondary School, which was temporarily housed in the existing building until the new school was built.

Duncanrig hosts an annual concert titled "Rig Rock".[3]

Website & app[edit]

Subjects taught at Duncanrig[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Sir Basil Spence Archive Project
  • Scotland Land Court. The Scots Law Times. an action against Mrs Frances Anne Pollok owner of the farm Duncanrig 
  • Miles Glendinning; Ranald MacInnes; Aonghus MacKechnie (1996). A History of Scottish Architecture: From the Renaissance to the Present Day. Edinburgh University Press. pp. see p433. ISBN 0-7486-0741-2. [a] theatrical air informed some of Spence's architectural commissions in those days such as Duncanrig Secondary School 
  • Brutalist Architecture in KL
  • Holmhills Wood Community Park Action Group (HWCAG) (2005). PPP School Modernisation Projects and the Loss of Open Space in Scotland. 
  • Kenneth DavidsonAre public-private partnerships worth the risk?. 2003. 

Coordinates: 55°45′31″N 4°12′15″W / 55.758705°N 4.204229°W / 55.758705; -4.204229