Nicolson Institute

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Nicolson Institute
Scottish Gaelic Sgoil MhicNeacail
Established 1873
Type Secondary
Rector Frances Murray
Founder Alexander Morrison Nicolson
Location Springfield Road
Isle of Lewis
Coordinates: 58°12′40″N 6°22′44″W / 58.211°N 6.379°W / 58.211; -6.379
Council area Na h-Eileanan Siar
Students 1200

The Nicolson Institute (Gaelic: Sgoil MhicNeacail) in Stornoway, is the largest school in the Western Isles, Scotland.

The Nicolson is the only six-year secondary school in Lewis. With the Sir E. Scott School in Harris, they provide education up to Advanced Higher level.

The student population is around 1000. The school has Gaelic speaking pupils, although these are in the minority. There are five houses, named after five significant former rectors: Addison, Forbes, Gibson, Macrae and Sutherland. Addison contains only pupils who claim to be fluent in Gaelic.

The Nicolson has recently been re-built on the site of the original Stornoway Primary next to where the old Nicolson was. .[1] The old school comprised several different buildings, all built between 1904 (Matheson Hall) and the Main Building (1957) as well as a few other building that were demolished in the 1980s. The Main building was extended many times and a canteen was built in a second neighbouring building in the 1980s.

New School[edit]

In June 2010, the first part of the new school project started with the Springfield South (maths & geography) was demolished, (these subjects were housed in temporary portacabins at the back of the school). The project took 2 years and the new school opened on Thursday 16 August 2012 to staff & pupils. The old main building was then demolished to become the new bus park. The technical (Springfield North) and former Religious studies department (Matheson Hall) were retained, (technical is joint to the new building by a tunnel and Matheson hall is now used by the council.

Notable Pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "The Nicolson Institute:- The on-going story". The Nicolson Institute/Sgoil MhicNeacail. Retrieved 23 Jan 2011.
  2. ^ "Island community mourns kidnapped aid worker". (9 October 2010) BBC News. Retrieved 23 Jan 2011.
  3. ^ "Angus MacNeil MP, MP for Na H-Eileanan An Iar". SNP website. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 

External links[edit]