The National Schools of the Parish

  Pupils of Enfield National School and Residents in early 1900'sPupils of Enfield National School and Residents in early 1900's


     Stanley’s Education Act of 1831 introduced a state system of primary education in Ireland . These schools gradually replaced a wide array of Hedge Schools which taught Reading , Writing and Arithmetic outside of state control at places such as High lane and Ballycarn. The first National school in the parish under the new Act was established at Kill in the mid 1830s. A committee was established to procure a site and the school had the support of the local priest who usually made the application to the Central Board. There was some suspicion of all committees at that time as some of them developed into anti- tithe groups in the 1830s.

Baconstown Old National SchoolBaconstown Old National School

 In 1842 . three years before the Great Famine, a National school was established at Baconstown. A teacher’s residence was built adjacent to it in the more prosperous 1880s. Baconstown old school is situated across the road from the modern one which replaced it in the 20th century. It is now used as a community and childcare centre. This is an interesting example of a pre-famine school building.


      In the 1850s National schools were established at Ardenew, Connellstown and Innfield. The driving force behind the establishment of these primary schools was Rev John Masterson. A window was installed to his memory over the entrance to the Sacristy corridor at the alter of Jordanstown church. Fr. Masterson was educated in Ireland and France and he had a broad vision of the value of a good education for the youth of the parish. Education records show that teachers salaries and school requisites were provided by the state but regular inspections meant that school standards were monitored in return. The school at Connellstown was struck off the rolls in the early 1860s due to inefficiency and falling numbers but the schools at Innfield and Ardenew continued. Enfield N.S. expanded with the development of the village and the Midland Great Western Railway.

     In 1953 a new National school at Enfield replaced the school of 1857 and in 2003 the people of Enfield parish celebrated the 150th anniversary of the National System just as Baconstown had done in 1992. A new school opened in Enfield in 2012, replacing the 1953 one.

         In the 19th century the attendance of girls was better than that of boys due to the “frequent use of boys in agricultural labour especially as harvest time”. After 1922 when the Irish Free State was established Irish History and the Irish language were taught in Primary schools and many teachers had to retrain to adjust to the demands of the new state.

Kill Old National SchoolKill Old National School

      Since Enfield/Rathmoylon parish had no secondary school, students attended a variety of day or boarding schools in other towns following the completion of  primary education especially from the 1950s onwards.


Baconstown National SchoolBaconstown National School

                                  Enfield Old National SchoolEnfield Old National School                 Kill National SchoolKill National School