Historical 1915 Causeway school to be restored by National Trust
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A 108-year-old listed school building close to the Giant's Causeway is to be restored after being acquired by the National Trust.
Built in 1915, the historic Causeway Memorial School in Co Antrim, which accepted its last primary school pupils in 1962, had been leased long-term to the Education Authority. It had been used as an educational resource, giving children a live experience of schooling in bygone days, before closing again in 2013 and under the care of the Causeway Memorial School Trust (CMST).
An agreement over its transfer was reached in 2019 however The National Trust was reluctant to take possession until a deal was reached over its actual repair bill.
With the matter now resolved, the charity has completed the acquisition and already begun work to secure the building.
In a statement issued this week, a National Trust spokesperson, said: “We are delighted to receive the Causeway Memorial School into the care of the National Trust and we look forward to caring for this culturally significant building.
“We have been carrying out priority repairs to prevent further decay to the building.
“We will be working with the local community to establish a long-term vision for the school, which respects the original aims of the Causeway Memorial School Trust and our values as a conservation charity.”
Designed by renowned architect Clough Williams-Ellis for landowner Edward Baron Macnaghton in 1915, the building was built by the Macnaghten family in memory of Baron Macnaghten of Runkerry.
The building replaced the original Causeway school which had been in existence from the middle of the nineteenth century just down the road and today operates as a restaurant and bar.
The new school was only open for about 50 years and after the last pupils left in 1962 the building fell into disrepair.
But since it reopened in the late 1980s, thousands of school children have been able to visit and learn about the past.
The building has many unique details including a sculpture made by the Macnaghtens' friend, Rosamund Praeger from Holywood which depicts the story of the Children of Lir and shows Finnoula in human form sheltering with her swan siblings during their exile on the Sea of Moyle. More work is located on the wall outside the entrance like a beautiful bronze relief sculpture of a small girl.