We visited the Padraig Pearse Museum, located in South Dublin. Pearse established a school for boys in 1908, this school was originally based in Ranelagh, but by 1910, Pearse moved the school called St Enda’s to the 18th century Hermitage house in Rathfarnham. The school encouraged the Irish language and lessons were taught in Irish and English.
“Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam. A country without a language is a country without a soul.”
Art and drama were also encouraged and the school had an art gallery, you can also see sculptures created by William Pearse on display. The house is now dedicated to the memory of Padraig Pearse and several rooms have been reconstructed back to the original, including a school dormitory, washroom, study room and parlour room. When we visited there was an exhibition upstairs about Pearse’s trip to America in 1914, to help raise funds for the school.
The house is situated in St Enda’s park, which has a walled garden with garden follies and a stream running through it. The previous owner of The Hermitage, Edward Hudson, had landscaped the demesne in the late 18th century. Hudson had an interest in antiquities and mythology and created garden ornaments related to mythology. The garden is one of the reasons, Patrick Pearse selected the house for his new school. Pearse used the ornamental garden follies as backdrops to outdoor school plays.
The museum is run by the Office of Public Works and admission is free, we spent an hour here and then walked around the walled gardens. There is also a coffee shop and a children’s art and craft workshop based in the courtyard of the museum. Throughout the year, in keeping with the artistic roots of the original school, art and craft events are held in the museum.
The museum is well worth a visit and there are various events taking place at the museum for the 1916 Easter Rising commemoration.