A school magazine is usually only of interest to teachers, students and their parents but in 2012 Dave Clarke, former teacher in the Blue Coat school, handed a manuscript over to Professor Jonathan Coleman of TCD called “Fragment From An Unpublished Dialogue Of Galileo”. In 1955, when a friend of Ronnie Anderson, English teacher and Editor of the Blue Coat magazine, accepted a new job in Vienna he decided to leave Anderson a parting present by writing an article for the magazine. It’s not many school magazines that have articles written for it by one of the international standing of Erwin Schrödinger, 1933 Nobel Physics laureate, and something that the school, at the time situated in the 18th century Blackhall Place building, is rightly proud of.
The school itself dates back to 1669 when it opened on Queen Street.
James Malton’s “Blue Coat Hospital, March 1798”In the latter part of the 18th century a site on nearby Blackhall place was purchased and an architectural competition organized for the design of the new school. Thomas Ivory’s submission was selected although he did need two bites at the cherry to convince the judges. The 1772 competition, won by Ivory, didn’t contain any entries that were really deemed right. A second competition was organized and the committee encouraged William Chambers, who had designed Charlemont House, to enter; he declined. Thomas Ivory again won the competition and construction began. It was not to be a happy time for Ivory and in 1779 he resigned when, due to budget constraints, the quadrangle to the rear of the building and the tall tower were canceled. The dome today dates from 1894 but it does raise a question of what exactly Malton was drawing as his print shows the tower as it would have been in Ivory’s design.
The school moved to Palmerstown in 1971 and the tenancy passed to the Law Society of Ireland.