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Old Tollymore Schoolhouse Being Demolished

{Source: The Mourne Observer 21st February 1964, page 6}


What one could describe as an interesting link with the Newcastle of a century ago, in the form of an old building, situated on the corner of the Tollymore road, where it joins the Bryansford road, is at present [February 1964] in the course of demolition.


From enquiries we were able to ascertain that the building served as a schoolhouse for the greater part of one hundred years. It was built and supported Mrs Keown, wife of Mr J. Keown, who founded the school (now in ruins) at Maghera Old Church. Mr Keown’s seat was at Cillan Fort.


For this information we are indebted Miss Bridie O’Hare, Tollymore, whose parents first “took up house” in the school building over forty years ago, some time after it had ceased to serve the purpose for which it was built.


Miss O’Hare showed us a newspaper cutting, copied from an 1837 directory. This refered to the Parish of Maghera, and the following is an extract:


“About 40 children are educated in the parochial school, which was founded in 1826 by J Keown, Esq., who built the schoolhouse on the glebe, and endowed it with £5 per annum, and at Tollymore is a neat schoolhouse, built and supported by Mrs Keown, in which about 50 children are gratuitously instructed and some of the females clothed.”


We would be interested to learn if there is anyone still alive [in 1964] who was a pupil at the old school at Tollymore.


Note: this article also holds a photograph of what remained of the schoolhouse, the gable and chimneys in 1964, looking towards Bryansford.