1761 – Wilson’s Hospital School, Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath
Wilson’s Hospital School was founded in 1761 by Andrew Wilson as a school for young Protestant boys and also as a hospital for old men. He specified that a hospital should be founded at Multyfarnham and it should care for “aged men being Protestants and decaying housekeepers, not exceeding the number of 40”. And also specified “a number of Protestant male children, not exceeding 150”. Over time the school ceased functioning as a hospital but still retained this title within its name
The school’s main building was designed by architect John Pentland and completed between 1759 and 1761 in the style of a Palladian country house. It is a seven-bay two-storey over basement block with a central pediment and an octagonal bellcote cupola. The main block is flanked by two six-bay two-storey wings linked by low quadrant walls curving back from the main building. The chapel was designed to seat 220 people, with Doric columns supporting a gallery on three sides.
After operating as an all-boys school for 200 years, it became co-educational in 1969 when it was amalgamated with the Preston School from Navan.
Photo By Brian Shaw, CC BY-SA 2.0