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Back in time for Ballydown

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PUPILS from Ballydown Primary have stepped into the laced-up boots of their grandparents.
Accompanied by their friends from St Francis PS, Aghaderg the P4 group headed off to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum last week.
Dressed in period costume, the pupils spent a day in a very different classroom.
Back in 1980, the old Ballydown Schoolhouse beside the Presbyterian church was moved brick by brick to Cultra as part of its living history village. So the visit was very special for the pupils visiting the school of many of their ancestors.
The original national school building was built in 1865. The National School system was established in 1831. It had two main aims - making most of the population literate and educating children of all religious denominations together.
The Ballydown School is typical of contemporary national schools built in this period. The building conforms to an architectural school plan published in 1858 by the Commissioners of National Education, for use by local groups in receipt of funds.
The Ballydown National School has one classroom, heated by a single fireplace. There are high positioned windows on either side of the room.
The school usually had between one and two teachers. Master William Thompson Gilmore was the school principal for most of the period between 1871 until 1911.
Ballydown school was built to accommodate 100 children on the rolls. The old school closed in 1939 but the current school is thriving on its Lisnaree site.

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