Tag Archives: Co. Cavan

Borderlands; ‘generally wet, sour, and moory’ – Samuel Lewis, 1837 (Heritage Week 2016 Series)

This is the third in the series of daily posts to the Disused School Houses blog to mark National Heritage Week 2016 (August 20th- 28th). This post presents images of abandoned school houses from Ireland’s ‘Borderland’ region, along with a brief narrative outlining the changing social landscape of the area over the past 100 years.

Gaigue NS Co. Cavan 1890 - 1900: Now a mechanic's workshop
Gaigue National School, Co. Cavan

aThere are a number of reoccurring motifs and themes that I have come across in the course of researching and photographing the disused school houses I visit. Rural depopulation and changing rural settlement patterns are amongst those themes. In some rural areas, the negative affects of this depopulation are partly offset by a thriving modern tourism industry. However, along the border region between the Republic and Northern Ireland where fewer tourists visit, the affects of demographic change have only been exacerbated further by social upheaval over the past century or so.

Drumreilly NS Co. Leitrim 1897 Fireplace
Drumreilly National School, Co. Leitrim (built in 1897)

The social history of the border already fills countless tomes and theses. The borderlands of Northern Ireland and Ireland are amongst the most disadvantaged and deprived areas of the island, and the proliferation of abandoned national schools in the area tells that story in itself. In March of this year, I spent a few days travelling through counties Monaghan, Cavan and Leitrim. These counties make up a significant percentage of the north/south border, and in terms of looking for derelict school houses, this is prime territory.

Corvoy Ns Co. monaghan 1902 Piano Through the Door
Corvoy National School, Co. Monaghan (built in 1902)

Besides dramatic social change, the creation of the custom barrier in 1923 significantly affected the movement of goods. Duties were payable on items such as tobacco, clothing and other manufactured goods. This had significant implications for retailers who formerly served areas that were now on either side of the border and for ordinary people whose patterns of shopping were disrupted by the new customs barrier.

Latton Co. Monaghan 1941 Classroom
Latton National School, Co. Monaghan (built in 1941)

Even before the decades of violence, the creation of the border badly affected existing retailers, manufacturers and services near the border. For many business the cost and inconvenience of new customs system – duties, paper work, delays and longer journeys – as well as the growing divergence in the administrative systems on either side created difficulties which led to a dramatic decline in trade across the border.

Continue reading Borderlands; ‘generally wet, sour, and moory’ – Samuel Lewis, 1837 (Heritage Week 2016 Series)

Carrigan National School, Carrigan townland, Co. Cavan

Carrigan National School, Carrigan townland, Co. Cavan
(Dated: 1897)
NGR: 238860, 293490

Carrigan Co. Cavan 1897 Interior School Room Blue
Carrigan Co. Cavan 1897 Interior School Room

Carrigan townland is situated in the Parish of Ballintemple in County Cavan. Here, just off a small country roadside, are the remnants of a late 19th-century detached, U-plan, single-storey school, built 1897.

Carrigan Co. Cavan 1897 Interior School Room Blue Interior Doorway
Carrigan NS Co. Cavan Interior School Room Blue Interior Doorway

The building includes the typical double entrances at each end for boys and girls, with the schoolyard to the rear also being segregated. A Stone plaque to centre of front elevation is inscribed ‘CARRIGANS NATIONAL SCHOOL / 1897 / ENLARGED BY REV T. MAGUIRE CC / 1929’.

Carrigan Co. Cavan 1897 Interior School Room Blue Main Doorway

Continue reading Carrigan National School, Carrigan townland, Co. Cavan