Old Photograph School House Dunmore Scotland

Old photograph of the School House in Dunmore, located 6 miles South East of Stirling, Scotland. The village lies along the A905 road between Throsk and Airth on the banks of the River Forth. Formerly known as Elphinstone Pans, the settlement was entirely remodelled as a planned village in the 1840s by the local landowner, the Countess of Dunmore. Catherine Murray, Countess of Dunmore, born 31 October 1814, in London, England, died 12 February 1886, in Inveresk, was an English peeress and promoter of Harris Tweed. She was a daughter of George Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke and his second wife, the former Countess Catherine Vorontsov, daughter of Semyon Romanovich Vorontsov, the Russian Ambassador to the Court of St. James's. On 27 May 1836, Lady Catherine married Alexander Murray, Viscount Fincastle at Frankfurt am Main. Fincastle acceded to his father's earldom of Dunmore a few months later. The couple had four children: Lady Susan Catherine Mary, born 1837, died 1915, married 29 November 1860 James Carnegie, 9th Earl of Southesk as his second wife, and had issue three sons and four daughters. Lady Constance Euphemia Woronzow, born 1838, died 1922, married William Buller-Fullerton-Elphinstone, 15th Lord Elphinstone. Charles Adolphus, styled Viscount Fincastle, later 7th Earl of Dunmore, born 1841, died 1907. Lady Victoria Alexandrina, or Lady Alexandrina Victoria Murray, born 1845, died 1911, married Reverend. Henry Cunliffe, born 1826, died 1894, son of Sir Robert Henry Cunliffe, 4th Baronet, CB, General, Bengal Army. In 1841, Lady Dunmore was appointed a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria but resigned upon her husband's death four years later. Following his death, she inherited 150,000 acres of the Dunmore estate on the Island of Harris, Outer Hebrides. During the economic difficulties of the Highland Potato Famine of 1846, Lady Dunmore was instrumental in the promotion and development of Harris Tweed, a sustainable and local industry. Recognising the sales potential of the fabric, she had the Murray family tartan copied in tweed by the local weavers and suits were later made for the Dunmore estate gamekeepers and gillies. Proving a success, Lady Dunmore sought to widen the market by removing the irregularities, caused by dyeing, spinning and weaving, all done by hand, in the cloth to bring it in line with machine-made cloth. She achieved this by organising and financing training in Alloa for the Harris weavers and by the late 1840s, a London market was established, which led to an increase in sales of tweed. The Countess died, aged seventy-one, on 12 February 1886 at Carberry Tower, Inveresk, East Lothian and was buried at Dunmore, Falkirk.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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