DEAF AND DUMB INSTITUTION
WHERE IS IT? In the south side of Glasgow, adjacent to Langside College, accessed via Prospecthill Road
Although the term has since become rather offensive, the building that was known as the Glasgow Deaf and Dumb Institution was constructed in 1868. However, the school entity had existed for at least half a century before taking residence here.
Its origins lie in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, which was at the time home to the country’s only school for those without the ability to hear or speak. Robert Kinniburgh, a teacher from the school, travelled across Scotland to Glasgow with a number of his pupils. The teacher illustrated the various educational techniques by examining his students in public. This display stuck with a man named John Anderson, who would become a teacher to the deaf and dumb of Glasgow, and later founder of the Institution in 1819. Lord Provost Henry Monteith chaired a public meeting and the society was incorporated by Seal of Cause from the Magistrates of Glasgow. Some of the city’s most influential citizens, including merchant Andrew Tennent and the Rev. Dr William Muir, had signed a petition the previous year to push the decision through. Their continued support managed to raise £2,000 to establish the institution.
They found a home in a small building in the Townhead area the oldest part of Glasgow. However, shortly thereafter in 1821, Anderson resigned from the school. By 1868, the Townhead area was overpopulated, and so the school sought to move south to the Langside area. The newly formed architecture firm of Salmon, Son & Richie won the contract to design and construct the brand new building. The sheer size of the building shows how many people the institution managed to help, with accommodation at the boarding school for 170 pupils.
Shortly after World War II in 1947, the Institute was taken over by Langside College. Just after the turn of the 21st Century in 2002, the building was converted for residential use.
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