The History of Ayr Academy

The known history of the school goes back to before 1233 when a church school was founded in Ayr. After the Reformation the school was taken over by the council of the Royal Burgh of Ayr and moved to its present site in 1602. In 1794 a Royal Charter converted the school into Ayr Academy.

The present building with its imposing frontage was built in 1880 to a design of Messrs Clarke and Bell of Glasgow, the Art Department Main Hall and the classrooms off it was erected in 1912 and was designed by James A. Morris, an important local architect who was a contemporary of Charles Rennie MacIntosh. The Science Block was completed in 1938.

Coat of Arms

The Academy’s coat of arms was awarded in 1912 and bears the school motto ‘Respice Prospice’ ‘look backwards, look forward’. This is part of the tradition of the Academy, building on our strengths from the past, our identity as a school, to go forward to help our young people meet the challenges of modern society.