Leveleglish School (No 1)

School No 1 known as Leveleglish School

School No 1 known as Leveleglish School

Loughgall’s   first school building, founded by Erasmus Smith, a philanthropist in the   field of education, on two acres of land owned by Robert Campden Cope, dates   back to the year 1811, when it was built at a cost of £400. The rent for the   land is described on the original lease as ‘pepper corn rent’. At that time   it was known as Leveleglish School. It is thought by locals that the top   centre window was originally blocked off because of a Government Window Tax   that existed until 1851. The first available record of the school dates back   to 1824, when Charles and Phoebe McClelland were listed as being Master and   Mistress with 128 pupils on roll, 66 of whom were boys and 62 girls. In 1859   a touching story appeared in the press. A woman and her five year old   daughter were found outside the school house, careworn, bleeding and   exhausted for want of food and shelter. Apparently they had travelled from   Dublin on foot and were making their way to Belfast to see the woman’s   husband, a soldier, who was lying in the hospital. She had carried her   daughter most of the way and had sold clothing to support them both, but was   now lost in the countryside. A local gentleman, Mr William Hardy, and his   family gave her shelter and food, Rev. Mr White and his lady gave them   clothes and many other comforts, and a collection was made for them in the   village by Mr George Wilkinson to ‘send them on their journey rejoicing’   Typical Loughgall hospitality! The school eventually moved down to the centre   of the village in 1870, when the new Loughgall No 2 National School was   built, later renamed The Cope School. The building then became the residence   of the school principal and was known as ‘The Elms’ The names of some of the   occupants over the years include Mills, Riddel, Hollywood, Dougherty,   Troughton, Gallagher, Callaghan and Adams.
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