Presentation Primary School Terenure

We are an all-girls school in Terenure on the southside of Dublin.

A History of Presentation

The Presentation Order was founded by Nano Nagle. Nano was born in Ballygriffin, County Cork in 1718. She started her first school in Cove Lane in Cork city in 1755. The pupils were taught spelling, reading, arithmetic and writing. Nano is often pictured as going about in poor unfashionable dress, a lantern in one hand and a stick in the other. She was known as the lady with the lamp.

In June 1776 Nano received the religious habit, the beginning of the Presentation Order. Nano intended its members to be devoted to the poor. Nano Nagle died on April 26th, 1784, at the age of 65. Her message spread across the globe and today Nano Nagle’s Presentation Sisters are found all over Ireland, England, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, California, New York, North and South Dakota, Iowa, and the Philippines.

The first Presentation sisters arrived in Terenure in 1866. They arrived on September 24th and took up residence in Netherby, one of the “Big Houses” in the area. Five days later, they opened their doors to their first pupils, having organised the coach house and stables as classrooms. Facilities were minimal but they managed.

Later they converted the coach house and stable of Netherby into a school until such time as a new building would be erected. There were 144 pupils on rolls with an average attendance of 105. The new school, a fine two storey building of red brick, containing eight classrooms was completed by 1889. The demand for increased school accommodation necessitated further building. In 1939 the erection of a large wing of ten classrooms was completed. Today the “School in the Stable” has been replaced by a primary school which accommodates approximately 500 pupils. Here are two classrooms from our school about 80 years ago.

A History of Terenure

The word Terenure comes from the Irish Tír an Iúir – the Land of the Yew. Terenure existed before the Normans, but little is known about it before 1215 when the land was granted to the knight Hugo de Barnewell. In 1590 Pete Barnewell built Terenure Castle where Terenure College now stands.

During the 1600’s many big houses were built in the area - Terenure House, Templeogue House and Fortfield House. In 1659 there were 32 people living in Terenure – 11 English and 21 Irish. In 1791 Robert Shaw bought Terenure House and acquired the adjoining Bushy Park lands. George Bernard Shaw spent some time at his uncle’s house and the woods in Bushy Park were called Shaw’s Wood.

In 1801 a road was constructed leading from Rathgar and crossed the original road out of the city which came from Harold’s Cross. A village began to develop at this crossroads with an inn and a well. The circle of cottages erected in 1801 gave the community the name of Roundtown. It was called Roundtown until 1870.

This is a picture of Terenure Crossroads over 100 years ago.
Here is a photo of the Crossroads today.

During the late 1800’s and in the early 1900’s there was a huge building rush in Terenure. The houses on Terenure Road East were built first and in the 1880’s and 90’s the redbrick houses of Brighton Road, Ashdale Road and Terenure Park were built. Eaton Square was built in 1920 and Terenure became a very desirable address.

In 1932 Terenure lost all claim to rural status when it was incorporated into the city - no longer a village but a suburb. Hundreds of years ago the Land of the Yew Tree was covered in trees but today Terenure is a lively, busy, and noisy suburb of Dublin.

The Terenure Trams

No history of Terenure would be complete without mentioning the trams. From the 1870’s a horse-drawn tram, operated by United Tramways Company was running through Terenure. The Terenure tram was number 191. A further tram ran along the route of the 16 bus towards Rathfarnham. Another tram line was opened in 1888 which ran all the way to Blessington. Many residents of the city had the opportunity to travel out to the countryside in their leisure time and Terenure became a stopping-off point for travellers enroute to scenic West Wicklow.

In 1901 horse drawn trams were replaced by electric trams. The last tram to Blessington left Terenure on December 31st, 1932. The tram service to Terenure finished in 1949.

Terenure Today

Terenure today is a modern, lively village with a mix of shops, estate agents and restaurants. The village has undergone huge changes in the last 150 years. Many of the old houses have been replaced with apartment blocks. Indeed, our own convent building was sold for development and knocked down in 2008.

The convent just before it was demolished.