History of Gordon's
Robert Gordon was a merchant from Aberdeen who spent much of his life based in Poland. On retiring to Aberdeen, he decided to leave his considerable fortune to found a ‘Hospital’ for boys’ accommodation and education. The school was built on the site of the old Dominican (Black) Friars building. The ‘Auld Hoose’, as it is known, was designed by William Adam. Before it could be occupied, it was taken over by the Duke of Cumberland as a fort for his troops on the way to crush the Jacobite rebellion at Culloden. It was not until 1750 that the school opened with 14 pupils.
In 1881, the ‘Hospital’ was reconstituted as a day school under the name of ‘Robert Gordon’s College’. It continued to attract support from benefactors. In 1909 its charitable constitution changed to allow the development of adult education, a move which developed in the course of time into the Robert Gordon University.
In 1989, the next major change of the school was when girls were admitted and Robert Gordon’s College became a coeducational day school and today remains true to the charitable and educational principles on which it was founded by Robert Gordon over 250 years ago. Learn more in our interactive timeline.