New era as gates close on historic school route
A route to school for generations of Bray children was finally closed after close to a century and a half in use last weekend.
The main Vevay Road entrance to the Loreto Convent and Secondary School has been closed to accommodate a new specialist classroom block on the site.
A school entrance for tens of thousands of youngsters since the Loreto Order first established a school at the property 148 years ago, the avenue access to the local secondary school was finally extinguished last Friday, to be replaced by a new entrance which opened this week adjacent to the Open Door Day Care Centre on Vevay Road.
The seeping avenue leading to Loreto commanded panoramic views of the town, and was in service from the time of the original establishment by the Putland family of the main house ‘Sans Souci’ on the property in around 1800.
Sans Souci and its 78 acres of land was subsequently acquired by the Loreto Order in 1850 and opened as a secondary school for boarders and day pupils shortly thereafter.
A working farm existed on the lands until the early 19700s, while a gate lodge at the Vevay Road entrance to Loreto was demolished during the 1980s. Just over 800 pupils currently attend Loreto Secondary School, which is now Bray’s biggest post primary.
The steady increase in numbers prompted a local school campaign for new facilities, and funding approval for development work was finally green-lighted by the Minister for Education last year. The new classroom block will include a science lab, kitchen, technology room, prayer room and staff room and is scheduled to be opened later this spring.
It is understood that a section of the treelined avenue to the school may survive as an access route.