1778 – Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

Architect: William Farrell / John McCurdy



The Royal Schools were ‘free schools’ created by James I in 1608 to provide an education to the sons of local merchants and farmers during the plantation of Ulster. The original intention had been to have a ‘Royal School’ in each of Ireland’s counties – James I Order in Council read, “that there shall be one Free School at least appointed in every County, for the education of youth in learning and religion.”, but only five were actually established.

A central block of 7 bays with three further bays recessed to either side with wings to resemble a country house. Wings added in 1819 by William Farrell with later additions and alterations by John McCurdy.

Alma mater of Dr Charles Nelson, Dr Brian Nelson, Oscar Wilde, Henry Francis Lyte and Samuel Beckett.