In 1818, Richard the 5th Viscount Powerscourt hired architect Sir William Morrison to build a series of rustic cottages. It was during this time period that the schoolhouse was built. By 1825, the new Enniskerry Schoolhouse met all of the principles of the Kildare Place Society. Kildare Place Society was founded by major Dublin merchants with a goal to educate all children regardless of religion.
In a report published in 1825 on the state of the provision of education in Ireland, Enniskerry was listed as having 11 schools, including 4 hedge schools.
The new schoolhouse in Enniskerry was recorded in the same report as having 61 children on the roll. It was recorded to have cost 600 pounds to build the school. Margaret Sandford was the headmistress and she was paid almost 36 pounds per annum, 34 pounds of which was paid by Lord Powerscourt. At that time it was usual for pupils to pay a small sum, perhaps 1 penny per week, (as it was considered that this would ensure their attendance was good). Just across the bridge, opposite the entrance to the Bog Meadow. There was an infant school. There were other schools in Annacrevy, Glencree, Bushy Park and Charleville.
In 1867, the decision was taken to move the Enniskerry School into the National School System. James Doherty, aged 30 and his wife Isabella, aged 24 are listed as schoolmaster and mistress. James received training from the Church Education Society, at their training school at Kildare Place. The school building is described in the application as being 44 foot long and 16 feet wide, with six large windows. It adds that a portion of the house is occupied by the teacher. The school was given the roll number 9760.
While it was originally called Enniskerry National School, in 1876, it changed its name to Powerscourt National School.
In June, 2012 we made history by moving from the oldest functioning school in Ireland to one of two very modern passive schools.
The details written here were sourced from Seery (2012). There is plenty more detail regarding the history of Powerscourt N.S. on the link below.
Seery, M.(Oct, 2012). Powerscourt National School in the 19th Century
Articles on our school.