Skip to content

Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:

Extent of Listing:
School, teacher’s residence, front boundary wall and gates, return to north wall and former toilets

Date of Construction:
1860 - 1879

Address :
Culmore Primary School 181 Culmore Road Londonderry BT48 8JH


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
26/02/1979 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
C4660 2286

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

A single storey stone built school building. It has natural slated gabled roofs five bays long with double pile teacher’s residence at northern end. To the rear the school has a 1950s one classroom flat roofed extension in buff coloured brick. The picturesque building is in a neo-Gothic style. The west elevation to Culmore Road has walls built of local schist with cut sandstone trim to windows and doors. Steeply shouldered buttresses stiffen the wall. A double gabled projection steps forward to form the original school entrance with each gable having a pair of round headed sliding sash windows. Windows to the classroom are square headed with three lights each divided in six panes. The ridge of the main roof steps down to form a chancel-like end to the school at the south. On the main ridge two metal ventilators and at the south end a shouldered bellcote gabled with moulded barges on each side but minus its former roof covering and also its bell. On the south gable there are three tall round headed sliding sash windows, closely spaced and divided into nine panes each. There are moulded timber barges and in the tympanum under the ridge overhang there is a shield mounted monogram H I S. The teacher’s residence at the northern end of the school projects forward as a double pile gabled block matching the school entrance at the south west end but two storeys high and finished in smooth rendering with small shouldered buttresses at each side. Each gable is punctuated with pairs of sliding sash windows, square headed on ground floor and round headed on first floor. There is a roundel set in each tympanum, one plain the other commemorating Governor Ross and Deputy Governor Burnell of the Irish Society. On the south flank of the residence a former entrance has been blocked up. This would have been done when the residence was extended in 1915. Originally the residence was a single pile but was extended and built in red brick hence the rendered finish. The extension is not the same depth as the first part and the entrance was changed to the north side. A central chimney rises from the valley of the double pile roof over a low ridge lateral roof. On the eastern side of the school, a modern extension of single classroom, new entrance, access corridor, cloaks and toilets with storage space and play shelter was constructed in c1950s This work contrasts starkly with the stone built structure but fortunately is partly screened from view. The former toilets are retained but un-used, though there were previous toilets at the bottom end of the grassed area of the site. They have cast iron ogee gutters and round downpipes. The building is sited parallel to the Culmore Road but set back sufficiently for a paved playground to be accommodated. There is a good boundary wall, railings and gates to Culmore Road are built of whinstone and trimmed with sandstone.


Campbell, Noel E Williamson, Richard

Historical Information

The school replaced a former school sited on the roadside in former 17th century ruins of the Holy Trinity church. The Irish Society agreed to erect new schools on 27 June 1865 and completed in 1866 at a cost of £900. The Society carried out improvements and repairs to the school in 1878. The teacher’s residence was extended in 1915. In the 1950s under the Co Londonderry Education Committee the school was further extended. Richard Williamson, the Society’s surveyor, was architect for the original school. Presently the school is leased from the Irish Society by the Western Education and Library Board. The board sub-leases the teacher’s residence, the present occupants have been there 15 years. N E Campbell was architect to Co Londonderry Education Committee. References: Primary Sources: OS Map 1st Edition 1830 CoLondonderry Sheet 14 OS Map 1904-5 revision Co Londonderry Sheet 14A Secondary Sources: Mrs P G Rafferty (Teacher) Miss L Cuthbert,(Principal) JS Curl Londonderry plantation 1614-1619 Historical Narrative of Irish Society 1611-1915 p.62, 91

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form H+. Alterations enhancing the building I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting

Historic Interest

V. Authorship X. Local Interest Y. Social, Cultural or Economic Importance Z. Rarity


An interesting neo-Gothic style mid-Victorian small school, well built and imaginatively detailed with good materials and fine interior spaces. Historically interesting illustrating the social concern of the Honourable the Irish Society in the Liberties area of Londonderry. Substantial boundary wall. The 1950s extension has been discreetly placed to the rear.

General Comments

Date of Survey

04 March 1999