The Old School House Castlerock History

Sitting just on the edge of Downhill Demesne at the end of School Lane is the Old School House. Built in 1872 the National School, constructed of black basalt, would have been an imposing building. It was built by local landowners the Bruce family to provide education to the children of the small but developing settlements of Downhill and Castlerock. Prior to 1840 there was little or nothing in the local area but thanks to the railway company and their offer of cheap tickets to those who would build and settle in the area small settlements started to establish themselves.  The local children that attended the school were even granted the special privilege of going through the grounds of Downhill castle on their way to school - provided they did not go past the living quarters but went around the "loop" to the rear of the Castle. Even today from the school house you have great views of the Earl Bishop of Derry's now crumbling mansion and if you try hard you can just make out the domed roof of the iconic Mussenden Temple.

We have a couple of photographs of the pupils attending the school in the ‘20’s and it would be great to hear if any are relatives of people still living in Castlerock!