Ballintogher National School, Tiratick townland, Co. Sligo
NGR: 176104, 328245
This school house is situated in the townland of Tiratick in the parish of Ballintogher in rural Co. Sligo – just northwest of the village of Balllintogher. The building dates to the 1840s and served the village, though the First Edition Ordnance Survey sheet for the area which dates to the late 1830s, shows an earlier school house marked just to the southwest of Ballintogher village. Sadly the 1840s school house is in a poor condition today, having been crudely converted into a shed. In the nearby village there are two town houses of mid-to-late 19th century date listed as protected structures. At the time of the 1901 census in Ireland, some 41 families lived in Ballintogher, and village included 3 public houses and a shop. The Second Edition Ordnance Survey sheet dating to the late 19th century shows a creamery, post-office, ball court and Temperance hall in the village. A railway line, the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway, which was constructed in the 1870s ran near the village. This railway linked Sligo town with Enniskillen and was in operation until 1957.
Like so many rural villages and towns in Ireland during the 19th and early 20th century, school houses along with buildings such as the local church and public houses were at the centre of rural Irish lifeways. They were an intrinsic part of the social fabric of Irish rural life which nearly every member of a community was familiar with.
Continue reading Ballintogher National School, Tiratick townland, Co. Sligo
Loughwell National School, Laughil townland, Co.Galway
NGR: 117846, 228891
May – Driving between Moycullen and Spiddal in Co. Galway: Loughwell is a townland of Moycullen in the Galway Connemara Gaeltacht. Loughwell school stands on the Moycullen Spiddal road there. The school house that stands there today dates to the mid-1950s, but replaced an earlier building that stood on the site. The earlier building is identified on the Second Edition Ordnance Survey sheet for the area:
The two-classroom school was constructed probably during the first decade of the 20th century. In the 1970s the small national school at Loughwell closed and was amalgamated with Scoil Mhuire in Moycullen when the new central school was built there and opened in 1979.
Continue reading Loughwell National School, Laughil townland, Co.Galway
Gortavalla National School, Gortavalla East townland, Co. Limerick (Scoil Náisiúnta Gort an Bhaile)
NGR: 180869, 149139
The townland of Gortavalla East is located in the parish of Doon, to the east of the village Doon in Co. Limerick. The Slieve Felim and Mauher Slieve mountains lie just a few kilometres to the northwest but the lands surrounding the school are relatively flat. This is a rural area with fine grassland. The school building that stands here today is believed to have been constructed c.1880 though an earlier school existed in the area constructed by Danaher Brothers of Doon in 1831.
At the time of the 1901 census in Ireland, 13 families lived in the townland of Gortavalla East. Local family names included; Gallagher, Ryan, O’Donnell, Lonergan, Aherne, Buckey, Kearney, O’Brien, Real [sic] and Franklin. Undoubtedly the children of each of these families would have attended Gortavalla National School.
Continue reading Gortavalla National School, Gortavalla East townland, Co. Limerick (Scoil Náisiúnta Gort an Bhaile)
Crossboy National School, Crossboy townland, Co. Sligo
(dated late 19th century)
NGR: 177316, 329561
Crossboy National School is situated in the townland of Crossboy in the parish of Killerry near Lough Gill on the Sligo/Leitrim border. I passed this school house by chance and managed to take a few snaps before the rain came down. The building comprises a detached L-plan (extended to the rear from the original building at possibly a later date) single-storey structure located at the Crossboy junction.
Much of the external surface of the building is overgrown with ivy and no name/date plaque could be found. Drawing on a comparison with other school houses of similar design, a late-19th/early-20th century construction date for this building is suggested here. There are two entrances to the front of the school house, and two corresponding gateways in the boundary wall with stepped approaches to the building – like many of the school houses of this date, these are probably segregated entrances for boys and girls. Internally, the building comprises two classrooms separated by a partition wall. At the time of my visit the later extension was inaccessible. Continue reading Crossboy National School, Crossboy townland, Co. Sligo
Carrigeencor National School, Carrigeencor townland, Co. Leitrim
NGR: 184325, 333970
Carrigeencor National School is located in the townland of Carrigeencor in Co. Leitrim. The surrounding landscape comprises rural blanket bog with a sparse population. Nonetheless, Carrigeencor is one of two school houses located in the area, the other being Kilcoosey National School just 1.5 km away. Leitrim has suffered from rural depopulation more than most counties and today it is difficult to imagine that this area once required two schools.
The school house comprises a detached single-storey one room building with a lower projecting pitched-roof gable porch, and a rear extension with a lean-to roof. It has a pitched roof and the walls are rendered and scored to imitate cut-stone blocks. It was constructed in 1872. There is a low coarsely built rubble and mortar wall to the front with a wrought-iron gate. To the rear is the former toilet block. It is a simple stone and mortar construction with brick lintels over the doorways and a sheet-metal roof that has managed to stand the test of time. Continue reading Carrigeencor National School, Carrigeencor townland, Co. Leitrim
Ballykinealy/Kilmacdonogh National School, Ballykinealy townland, Co. Cork
NGR: 205929, 070231
Ballykinealy/Kilmacdonogh national school is situated in the rural East Cork townland of Ballykinealy. The surrounding landscape comprises rolling rich farmland with deep soils, and the area has a strong tradition of both tillage farming and animal husbandry.
The school building itself comprises a detached five-bay single-storey former national school, built c.1930, having single-bay gabled porch to front (south) elevation and single-bay flat-roofed extension to rear (north) elevation. It has a pitched slate roof with rendered chimneystacks to gables. There are roughcast rendered walls with smooth render plinth, and a cut stone name plaque to east gable. Also included are square-headed window openings throughout, with timber sliding sash windows, six-over-six pane to front and rear elevations and gables, two-over-two pane to porch and extension. There are square-headed openings to porch and extension with timber battened doors (probably original). Surrounding the building is a rubble stone boundary wall to the north, and a rendered boundary wall with stile to east. Continue reading Ballykinealy/Kilmacdonogh National School, Ballykinealy townland, Co. Cork
Ballynacourty National School, Ballynacourty townland, Co. Waterford
NGR: 229596, 092581
Ballynacourty National School is situated just a few miles outside the seaside town of Dungarvan in Co. Waterford. The school lies in the townland of Ballynacourty, just a few hundred metres from the shore with the former Coast Guard Station lying to the southwest. During the early part of the 20th century, a row of terraced houses lined the nearby pier, and undoubtedly the local children who lived there attended Ballynacourty school. In 1937 the Irish Folklore Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, initiated a revolutionary scheme in which schoolchildren were encouraged to collect and document folklore and local history. At this time, the Irish language was considerably stronger in the area and entries for Ballynacourty (recorded as Baile na Cúirte, Dúngarbhán – the school master being Muiris Breannóc) were in both the Irish and English language:
Continue reading Ballynacourty National School, Ballynacourty townland, Co. Waterford
Affane/Sluggara National School, Sluggara townland, Co. Waterford
NGR: 212065, 98137
Affane/Sluggara National School is situated in the townland of Sluggara just east of the Blackwater River in Co. Waterford, not far from the N72 national route, and just southeast of the village of Cappoquin. Today this small village straddles Bóthar an Mhachaire and comprises little more than a church, the former school house, and the ruins of the former school masters house on. At the time of the 1911 census in Ireland, just five families are recorded living in the townland. Providing further social and historical context to the National School is Affane House situated nearby. It was the property of Samuel J. Power in 1906 and valued at £32. Brady notes that the house incorporates material from the late seventeenth century house owned by the Greatrakes famly.
The school building remains in use today as a parish hall, and comprises a detached four-bay single-storey national school, dated 1914, on a T-shaped plan retaining original fenestration with two-bay single-storey gabled projecting lower shared porch to centre. It has a pitched slate roof on a T-shaped plan with red clay ridge tiles, red brick running bond chimney stacks, cut-stone coping to gables, and cast-iron rainwater goods on timber corbels. There are unpainted rendered walls with cut-limestone corbels supporting gables, and cut-stone date stone/plaque. The windows are square-headed openings with cut-stone sills, and 6/9 timber sash windows. There are square-headed door openings with tongue-and-groove timber panelled doors. The building is set back from road in its own grounds with a random rubble stone boundary with lime mortar, and red brick quoins to the ends, cut-stone coping, and rubble stone piers with wrought iron gate. To the rear, a high dividing wall runs down the centre of the schoolyard segregating boys and girls. Continue reading Affane/Sluggara National School, Sluggara townland, Co. Waterford
Kilcoona National School, Mausrevagh townland, Co. Galway
(dated early 20th century)
NGR: 130804, 244174
Kilcoona National School is situated in the townland of Mausrevagh in Co. Galway. The surrounding landscape comprises rolling improved farmland on shallow soils over limestone. Turloughs and other features of a karst landscape are common here, along with archaeological evidence for human settlement since at least the Bronze Age. During the Early Modern period the surrounding area supported a rural population, with the nearest significant town being Headford, about 5 km to the north. Travel between Headford and Galway City was by Kilcoona until the mid-19th century when the Curragh Line was constructed through the bog lands to the east of Lough Corrib.
The school building itself is a simple design, typical of late 19th and early 20th century school houses. It is a detached, eight-bay, single storey, two-roomed school house with a projecting entrance porch to the front, and probably dates to the late 19th or early 20th century. It has not been in use as a school building since the late 1980s but remains in a fair state of preservation. It is currently being used for storage.
Continue reading Kilcoona National School, Mausrevagh townland, Co. Galway
Drumbonniv National School, Drumbonniv townland, Co. Clare
NGR: 140469, 183557
The townland of Drumbonniv (sometimes spelled Drumbaniff) is situated in the parish of Crusheen in Co. Clare, not far from the towns of Gort and Ennis. It is a quiet, rural area which suffered from rural depopulation until recent years – in winter it can a particularly damp and cold landscape. The bare and harsh land is on the fringes of the Burren, with shallow soils and frequent limestone outcrop and hazel scrub. Small trees and shrubs that today encroach on the school house today provide some shelter from the elements.
The building that stands today dates to 1890 and comprises a detached, three-bay single storey, single classroom school house with a projecting entrance porch. It has a pitched roof with brickwork chimney stacks and plaster rendering. The plaster rendering is scored to give the impression that the building is constructed of cut-stone blocks. The walls are rubble built with the original sash windows still in place. A hole in the ceiling reveals the lattice and plaster-work construction in the roof – typical of school houses of this time.
Although much of the interior remains in a relatively good state of preservation, a large hole has recently been knocked in the gable end of the building to allow large machinery into the building. To the rear of the school stand the remnants of a stone built toilet block, now collapsed.
Continue reading Drumbonniv National School, Drumbonniv townland, Co. Clare