Ancestry UK

Villiers Schools' and Orphanage, Limerick, Co. Limerick, Ireland

The Villiers' Schools and Orphanage were founded in Limerick in 1826 under the will of Mrs Hannah Villiers. The institution, which was for Protestant children, consisted of one boys' and one girls' school and a girls' orphanage in Henry Street Upper, and mixed school in Nicholas Street

A new building for the establishment was erected at Henry Street Upper in 1837-39.

Former Villiers Schools and Orphanage, Henry Street Upper, Limerick, 2014. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1858, the objects of the orphanage were reported as being:

For boarding, lodging, and instructing in reading, writing, arithmetic, and plain work, not less at any one time than twenty or more than thirty female orphans of the Protestant religion exclusively.

The boys' day school was:

For the education of poor male children, not exceeding 100 in number at any one time, in reading, writing, arithmetic.

The girls' school's remit was identical apart from the addition of 'useful needlework'.

The 1858 report also noted that the 'house arrangements' were 'objectionable'. In 1881, things were apparently little changed since although the house was clean and evidently well kept, there was not a separate bed for each girl, nor a separate towel.

In 1953, the institution relocated to new premises on the North Circular Road. Villiers School is now a co-educational, fee paying, boarding and day secondary school.


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