Irvine Royal Academy

Coat of Arms


The arms shown above was granted by the Lord Lyon. It is based on the arms of Irvine Royal Burgh.

Ravenspark Academy was also granted a coat of arms, shown below.

Dr J. Lockhart Brown


History and Heritage


Irvine Royal Academy is one of few schools in Scotland which contain the 'Royal' appellation.

The original school was located in the Kirkgatehead, at the end of Hill Street. In 1572, King James VI provided funds to found the King's School of Irvine.

A new building was erected in 1816 and a Royal Charter granted in 1818 for the directorship of Irvine Royal Academy, which included the Earl of Eglinton, eleven councillors and all who subscribed £50 or more.

The school was taken over by Irvine School Board in 1872 as a result of the Education Act and a new building was erected. It opened on 27 December 1901. After fees for secondary pupils wee abolished in 1927, the school roll rose and it became necessary to build an annexe on Kilwinning Road, on the academy's sports field, in 1932. The school's primary department was closed in 1952.

A replacement building, which became Ravenspark Academy, opened in August 1969. The old buildings remained open to serve pupils from Dreghorn and Kilwinning. In August 1992, the two academies were amalgamated into Irvine Royal Academy and in June 1993 the old school and its annexe were closed.

The new Irvine Royal Academy was officially opened by Councillor Elliot Gray JP on 22 March 1994.

A more detailed History of Irvine Royal Academy can be found here

History of Ravenspark Academy

Irvine Royal Academy - History Timeline

School Song


Brian Donohoe, ex MP

Former Pupil

Former Pupils

The following former pupils have succeeded in various areas:


Sir Hilary Rudolph Robert Blood CMG (1893-1967) - Governor of Mauritius (1949-54)

Brian Donohoe MP (1948-   ) - Labour MP (2005-2015)

Sir Andrew Duncan

Julie Graham (1965-   ) - actress

Sir Alexander MacAra (1932-2012) - professor of epidemiology

Sir Thomas MacKillop (1943-   ) - chemist and chairman of RBS

Edgar Allan Poe - author

James Wilson (1895-1917) - footballer