Gainford Academy 1818-1899. Gainford Academy was founded in 1818 by the congregational minister the Rev. William Bowman. It operated from this building until 1899 when it was moved to North Terrace. In 1864 there were 80 boarders. The most famous pupil of the academy was Arthur Stanley Jefferson (Stan Laurel) of Laurel and Hardy fame. The building was later acquired by the Edleston family who gave it to the village in 1964. The building was restored for housing in 1987.