Cloghboola National School, Drishane, Co. Cork/Scoil An Clochbhuaile, Driseán, Co. Chorcaí.

Cloghboola National School, Drishane, Co. Cork/Scoil An Clochbhuaile, Driseán, Co. Chorcaí.

(dated 1868)

NGR: 126725, 086631

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Driving south from the village of Millstreet to the town of Macroom in West Cork, and just past Kilmeedy Bridge, you pass the rural village of Cloghboola. Nestled in the low hills of West Cork, today the village comprises just a few scattered houses and the modern local national School. However, to the east side of the road lies a curious 19th-century derelict building with two defunct 1950s petrol pumps outside.

Dating to 1868, this neglected structure is in fact a two-roomed school house. With a detached cruciform plan, this school is not of conventional design like many school houses of standard plan from a little later in the 19th century. It is a  single-storey school, having four bays to projecting long faces and three bays to projecting short faces.

The building has a slate roof, hipped to the front long face and double-hipped to rear. It retains it’s original cast-iron rainwater goods and clay ridge tiles. The walls are rendered with a render plaque to the centre of the front elevation. It includes square-headed window openings having some tooled limestone sills. These window opes are blocked to front and south elevation, though to the rear nine-pane fixed timber windows are evident (text adapted from the NIAH).

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Within the classrooms are a two built-in cupboards to either side of the brick fireplaces in each classroom. And as you can see below, in recent times some clever graffiti has been added to the fading orange paint on the internal walls. Apart from the graffiti, the walls also include the twin dido rails common to most 19th-century schools.

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To the rear of the building is a separate toilet block of coursed rubble stone walls, also common to schools dating from this period.

Although it is unclear, it seems the flat-roofed porch addition to north-west corner served as a kiosk when the complex was in use as a petrol station. To the front of the building are two painted metal Beckmeter fuel pumps with chrome trimmings, c. 1950.

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There are few, if any noteworthy buildings dating to the 19th century in the village of Cloghboola. This example of a rural school retains interesting features such as the plaque to the front elevation, the slate roof and cast-iron rainwater goods. In addition to the architectural interest of the building this small school was undoubtedly of great social importance to the local community.

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.

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