Ancestry UK

Home Industrial School for Protestant Boys, Cork, Co. Cork, Republic of Ireland

The Home Industrial School for Protestant Boys was opened in Cork in 1871, largely through the exertions of Robert C. Hall. Initially, the School temporarily occupied a large brick house at 13 South Terrace, Cork, which was formally certified for use on 28 July 1871. In that year, an average of 17 boys were accommodated. They were taught shoemaking and tailoring, cut firewood and performed household duties. The superintendent was Mr Alexander Collison, assisted by the matron, Mrs Reilly, and one servant.

More suitable premises were then obtained at Marble Hill, Blackrock, about two miles to the east of Cork. should be obtained. The former residence, which occupied a ten-acre site, was adapted and enlarged for the purpose, with the construction of a school room, additional dormitory, workshops, lavatory and bathroom. A connection was subsequently made to mains gas and water supplies. Further accommodation was also obtained by the acquisition of the lease of a property known as Flower Lodge, standing in ten acres of grounds, at the opposite side of the main road. The whole premises were certified for use on 25 February 1873 to house up to 100 boys.

In 1875, a further dormitory and a dining-room were added to the main building. A large farmyard was laid out including the erection of piggeries and a stable. The land, now amounting to 19-acres, and the farm-yard provided the boys with outdoor employment. Large crops of potatoes, marigolds, turnips and vegetables, both for home use and for sale, were grown by the boys. The farm stock included cows, store pigs, boars and breeding sows. Industrial employment also included tailoring, shoemaking, knitting and wood-chopping. All the clothes for the use of the boys were made in the School. The laundry and housework of the institution were also done by the boys. The staff now comprised the superintendent, Mr Collison, with twelve officers, including a bandmaster, tailor and shoemaker. The school curriculum included reading, writing, history, grammar, arithmetic, dictation and geography.

A system of rewards was established as an encouragement for industry and good conduct, by which the boys could earn from 1d. to 3d. per week. At the end of the quarter, every boy who had maintained a satisfactory standard earned a silver stripe on his jacket, which entitled him to extra advantages. At the end of the year, a medal was awarded to the boy with the best conduct and attention to duty.

In 1876, the staff comprised the superintendent, Mr Alexander Collison; the matron, his wife, Mrs Collison; the sub-matron, Mrs Norris; the bandmaster, Mr O'Leary; the steward and gardener, Mr. Teape; the house-steward and master of works, Mr Blake. There were also a schoolmistress, laundress, and cook. Trumpet-Major Honcroft had charge of the band, and Mr Howard gave instruction in singing.

On 22 August 1892, the School was renamed the Cork Industrial School for Protestant Boys. At the same time, the city's St Nicholas School for Protestant Boys was closed and its inmates transferred to the Marble Hill site, whose official capacity was increased to 110 places.

The School site is shown on the early 1900s map below.

Home Industrial School site, Cork, early 1900s.

In October 1902, the School's managers gave notice of their intention to resign its certificate. On 1 January 1903, the remaining inmates were transferred to the Meath Industrial School at Blackrock near Dublin.

Part of the original Marble Hill building may still survive.


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