1737 – Collegiate School, Celbridge, Co. Kildare

Architect: Thomas Burgh



Designed by Chief Surveyor Thomas Burgh, who died before completion, the former Collegiate School is a shallow U-shape in plan, with a pedimented breakfront in a silver-grey limestone. The vision for the school was set out a provision in the will of William “Speaker” Conolly (1662-1729) of Castletown, “to be laid out by them a convenient building in or near to the town of Celbridge in the county of Kildare on such spot of ground as shall be set out for them for that purpose by my said dear wife and nephew for the reception of forty orphans or other poor children.”

The aim of this charity school was to rescue children of the “poor natives from ignorance and superstition” and instruct them in “the English tongue, in manners and in the Protestant faith.” It served as a boarding school for Protestant girls until 1973. when the Incorporated Society for Promoting Protestant Schools in Ireland closed the school and transferred the pupils to Kilkenny College. Change of use to an hotel around 1980. It has a fine Georgian entrance archway to the front.