Old Schoolhouse, Glendalough

The Schoolhouse was built in 1864 by the Glendalough Mining Company and is typical of other model schools built across the country at the time. There were two entrances to the road, two porches, and two large school rooms for boys and girls. The building was constructed with local granite and had a fine double hipped roof with centre valley slated in Welsh Greys. In the 1880s a larger school was constructed in Laragh and the building passed into the hands of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The coved schoolrooms were reduced to offices, bedrooms, staff rooms and cells. Latterly the building passed to an Garda Siochana before entering into private use. In the 1970s the roof was taken apart completely and a flat roof two storey timber structure erected on the the rear elevation. The building served as a Bed and Breakfast and deteriorated into a dry lined and leaking warren of over twelve rooms and corridors.

The restoration of the building was a considerable undertaking. One hundred years of shoddy partitions and concrete floors were removed leaving nothing but bare rubble stone walls, an earth floor, and the open sky. The original double hipped roof has since been reinstated and slated with reclaimed blue bangors. A 1980s conservatory has been pulled down and redesigned on the same blueprint. The walls have been plastered internally with over 30 tons of mixed lime mortar, the coved ceilings reinstated, and a suspended timber floor finished with Swedish red-deal laid throughout. New bespoke shutters, doors, windows, skirting and architrave in keeping with the late Georgian style of the building have been fitted and painted.

Most importantly the two original schoolrooms have been opened up for the first time since the 1880s, creating a wonderful open plan house, filled with light and air. Outside, new lawns and extensive terracing to the rear of the building have been created. Chinoserie style gates, granite posts, steps and walls built with original stone have been erected. The Schoolhouse looks out over the lower lake and Monastic Tower and has transformed into a charming residence.