Laughil National School, Rabbitpark townland, Co. Longford
NGR: 217408, 270367
The townland of Rabbitpark is located to the south-east of Longford Town in Co. Longford. Rural in character, the surrounding landscape is barren and of low quality. Like the environment surrounding Drumlish National Schooland Gaigue National School in the same county, farming remains important to the local economy, though rural life has changed, and the hustle-and-bustle of the market town is no longer what it used to be.
This school house was built in 1937. Looking at the First and Second Edition Ordnance Survey sheets, it can be seen that this is not the first National School built at this site, and that this building replaced an earlier school house built sometime before the First Edition Ordnance Survey in the late 1930s.
Drumlish National School, Drumlish townland, Co. Longford
The village of Drumlish is situated in North County Longford, close to the Cavan and Leitrim Borders, and near to the village of Ballinamuck. Just outside the centre of the village is Old School Road where a series of old school houses have stood over the past 180 years. The First Edition Ordnance Survey map from the mid-19th century shows a school house marked at the southern side of the modern R198 where the Cairn Hill View estate is now located. The Second Edition Ordnance Survey sheet from the turn of the 20th century shows that by this time, the school had moved to opposite the old Constabulary Barracks at the junction of Old School Road and the R198. However, the school featured here post-dates both these buildings and is located to the east of the School Road Junction on the southern side of Old School Road. Here, hidden behind trees and brambles are the remains of a detached seven-bay single-storey former H-plan primary school, originally constructed c.1930 and extended c.1950.
Drumlish Co. Longford c.1930 Shelter
Drumlish Co. Longford c.1930 Entrance
Drumlish Co. Longford c.1930 Entrance II
Drumlish Co. Longford c.1930 Water Tower
Standing beside the building is a pebble-dashed water tower typical of 1950s school construction, while to the rear is a concrete playground shelter, which was cast in-situ. It is a particularly evocative abandoned schoolhouse, only going out of use in recent years. On entering the school through either of the cold, cast-in-situ side entrances, its functional 1950s architecture gives the interior a haunting feel, as encroaching nature gradually reclaims the building.