The School Years
The Benedictine nuns have always had a tradition of education. When they were known as the “Irish Dames of Ypres”, Irish nobility sent their daughters to be educated by the Benedictine nuns in their ancient Belgian Abbey. When the nuns came to Kylemore, they went about transforming the castle into an Abbey and created an International Girls Boarding School. The principal reception rooms and bedrooms in the Abbey were converted into classrooms with other rooms being converted into dormitories. The school was formally opened in 1923 with just 30 pupils initially.
The students received an education drawn up in accordance with the principles of Benedictine education and in line with the public secondary school curriculum. From the beginning, the school was seen as a ‘high-class school’ offering ‘all the advantages of a Continental education without the necessity for lengthened travel’. The school was known as one of Ireland's most prestigious girls' schools and became famous world-wide.