Hedge Schools(Taken from the Leinster Leader, 26 March 1960)
‘A mud walled cabin has been demolished in St Francis Street last week and with it went the old hedge schools of the district. Its headmaster when it opened in May 1823 was Edward Elliot (30) who taught reading, writing, arithmetic, book keeping, English grammar, geography and whose income was £8 a year- payable by the scholars at 1 ½ d per week. In his work Schools of Kildare and Leighlin, Rev Monsignor Brenan PP Edenderry states that the thatched school consisted of one room 24ft by 12ft, it had three desks, three forms and some small seats of a bad description, built by the master at a probable expense of £6. In the summer of 1823 it had an average attendance of 100 pupils. Mr John Whittaker’s father, the late Tom Whittaker, lived beside the school and once dug up several half pennies in his garden. They represented months of hard teaching and were probably lost by the pupils or their poorly paid teacher. The old building was demolished by Mr James Reid, nephew of the late Mr Tom Reid, last resident of the building’............In addition to the above article in the Leinster Leader we read in Brenan’s history of the schools of the diocese that religion was not tampered with in the school and that on one occasion when there were 40 pupils present , 14 were Protestants.