Rathmullan National School, Bearvaish Townland, Co. Sligo
(dated Late-19th/early-20th century)
NGR: 166696, 312385
The townland of Bearvaish is located in Co. Sligo, about 6km from Ballymote in the southeast of the county. The surrounding landscape comprises undulating grasslands and areas of bog and wetland. Farming in this quiet landscape is largely pastoral; many of the farms are small holdings, passed down through several generations since the reorganisation of land ownership through the Land Commission during the early part of the 20th century. Before the work of the Land Commission, farmland was generally held in large estates owned and leased to tenants by a local landlord frequently of Anglo-Irish decent who had often held these lands in deed for several hundred years. These landed gentry often maintained a demesne and estate house in the vicinity of their holding, and many of these survive today in varying states of preservation (see the photography of Tarquin Blake).
There are layers of history to this rural landscape that are sometimes not immediately evident. Within the unremarkable townland of Bearvaish there is a Barrow of likely Bronze Age date, situated adjacent to the Owenmore River which is crossed by a late 18th century bridge. Immediately adjacent and hidden behind the hedgerows is the old Rathmullan National School which dates to the turn of the 20th century.