Image of the Week: Clongowes College in 1898

clongowes college - the sunny side of ireland
Clongowes, pictured a few years prior to Stephen Dedalus’s attendance, in the 1898 guidebook The Sunny Side of Ireland

In Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Stephen Dedalus recalls his schooldays, spent at the boarding school Clongowes Wood College:

It would be better to be in the study hall than out there in the cold. The sky was pale and cold but there were lights in the castle. He wondered from which window Hamilton Rowan had thrown his hat on the ha-ha and had there been flowerbeds at that time under the windows. One day when he had been called to the castle the butler had shown him the marks of the soldiers’ slugs in the wood of the door and had given him a piece of shortbread that the community ate. It was nice and warm to see the lights in the castle. It was like something in a book.

Established in 1814, Clongowes continues in existence as a residential boys’ secondary school.  With fees (allegedly) coming to around €17,000 a year nowadays, it is perhaps unsurprising that young Stephen had to be withdrawn from school when the Dedalus family fell on hard times…

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