Coolmountain National School, Coolmountain townland, Co. Cork
NGR: 118544, 60287
A few miles north of Dunmanway in west Cork is the rural hamlet of Coolmountain. In summer, this is a particularly lush and green place, wooded and mountainous, isolated and peaceful. The land is rough but resourceful. The landscape of Coolmountain seems to have retained an authentic rural feel: the roads are poor, the houses sparse and there is a sense of timelessness about the place.
Here, just off a small local road and partially hidden by trees, is the disused Coolmountain National School; a diminutive one-room corrugated asbestos structure that is among the more unusual schoolhouses in the country
The ruins of Coolmountain National School comprise a detached gable-fronted three-bay single-storey school, built c.1945. It has a pitched asphalt roof with cast-iron ‘rainwater goods’ (i.e. gutters and drainpipes). The windows comprise square-headed openings with metal casement mullions and timber sills. It also has a square-headed door opening with a timber battened door, overlight and concrete steps. Rendered walls to the front and sides of the plot enclose a small schoolyard which can be accessed through a wrought-iron gate. The building ceased being used as a school in 1969 but was lived in until 2005. It is near collapse and unlikely to survive much longer.
Though constructed in the 1940s, there has been a school at this site since the 1830s. Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of 1837 records that:
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Mountpleasant National School, Curravordy townland, Co. Cork
The Second Edition 25-inch map for the area around the Mount Pleasant Estate in Co. Cork marks the location of Mount Pleasant National School. The school was built in 1876 to the east of Mount Pleasant Cottage near Tanyard Bridge and the local R.I.C. Barracks. It was constructed on the lands donated by the Baldwin family – local land-holders in the area at the time. Much of the original structure remains today, though with some modification and later additions to the site including an indoor toilet-block which replaced the now collapsed outdoor one to the rear of the main building. Inside, the building itself is stable and in a fair condition.
The structure comprises a detached six-bay single-storey national school, dated 1876 on the carved limestone plaque to front, with flat-roofed extension to the rear (west). It has a pitched slate roof with rendered chimney-stacks and cast-iron rainwater goods. The windows comprise square-headed window openings with rendered sills and two-over-two pane timber sliding sash windows with horizontal glazing bars. Plastered walls and ceiling to interior with stone framed fireplace with cast-iron fittings. Square-profile dressed sandstone gate piers with cut limestone caps and remains of rubble stone boundary wall.
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A disused National School at Tullaghan, Co. Leitrim
(Dated mid-20th century)
ING: 179441, 358747
I passed this disused National School just outside the seaside town of Bundoran in Co. Donegal early one Monday morning. It is situated just off the N15 on the Sligo side of the town. It had no name plate or date that I could see, though it appears to be a recently abandoned mid-20th century school house.
If you or someone you know attended this national school, or if you have any further information about this school – please do get in touch and share any stories, anecdotes, photographs, or any other memories you may have. If you know of further schools that I could visit, please do let me know.