Society of the Sacred Heart, Craiglockhart

Repository: Society of the Sacred Heart Provincial Archives

Identity Statement

TitleSociety of the Sacred Heart, Craiglockhart
Archive ReferenceIE SSHI-S/CRT
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1895-1964
Extent Medium34 boxes


Creator(s): Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province

  • Administrative History ↴

    The Society of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic religious congregation founded in France in 1800 by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, in response to the extreme violence of Revolutionary France. In such a broken society Sophie Barat hoped the Society of the Sacred Heart would make present the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ and help the restoration of Christian life in France. Its major work was the education of young women of the rich and the poor classes. The Society of the Sacred Heart quickly expanded within Europe and beyond, and came to Ireland in 1842. Members use the suffix "RSCJ" which stands for Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, or Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It currently has a presence in forty-one countries. In 1830 Robert Monteith of Carstairs, Scotland went to Paris to visit St. Madeleine Sophie Barat to ask her to send sisters to found a school in Edinburgh. Unfortunately she was not able to fulfill his request at that time. However, in 1918 the sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart came to Edinburgh. They had a day school and boarding school, a convent and as a result of the 1918 Education Act, a Catholic teacher training college. The first location was Moray Place, Edinburgh but after two years the Society purchased Edinburgh Hydropathic. Between 1916 and 1919 the building was used as a military psychiatric hospital for the treatment of shell-shocked officers. The most famous patients of Craiglockhart were the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Reverend Mother Margaret Walsh showed remarkable judgment in her choice of venue; the former Hydropathic stands three hundred feet above sea level, on a height dominating Edinburgh and backed by the Pentland range. On 1 August 1920 the Craiglockhart R.C. Training College was formed by agreement with the Catholic Council and The National Committee for the Training of Teachers. In 1928 the Convent building was extended at the northern end, giving the boarding school a new dormitory and dining-room and giving more room for the day school. In September 1930 the boarding school moved to Kilgraston leaving more room for the day school and the college. It became Craiglockhart College of Education in 1965 and had an excellent reputation. In 1981 it was merged with the other Catholic College of Education (Notre Dame, Bearsden near Glasgow), and the amalgam became known as St Andrew's College of Education. The property was sold to Edinburgh Napier College in 1986.
  • Archival History ↴

    The collection forms part of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province archival collection. It was deposited to the Provincial Archives Office, Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province in 1994. Material deposited from Society of the Sacred Heart, Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴

    Official Transfer

Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province ↴

    The papers provide an insight to the RSCJ community, convent and teacher training college at Craiglockhart from 1895 to 1964. Included are financial and administrative records, school journals, student registers and records of sodalities relating to the boarding school. There are also texts of plays and copies of the school magazine. There are documents relating to World War II and to the establishment of the teacher training college which was founded by Mother Margaret Walsh in 1918.
    The collection contains a wealth of information regarding religious sisters, Catholic education and teacher training in Scotland, women’s history and local history.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    All items retained permanently
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    A. Texts of plays, c. 19th century
    B. College, c. 1914/15
    C. Sodalities, Guilds and Societies, c. 1915
    D. Convent administration, 3 May 1918
    E. Catholicism in Scotland, c. 1919
    F. Journals, 29 September 1919
    G. Lecturers and teachers, 3 August 1920
    H. School, 4 October 1920
    I. The Buckle, c. 1923
    J. Images, c. 20th century
    K. World War II, 5 September 1941
    L. Society of the Sacred Heart, c. 1940s
    M. Emblems, c. 20th century
    N. Joigny community, 1964
    O. Religious medals, c. 20th century

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions The Provincial Archives Office, Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province, Mount Anville Road, Dublin 14 is open to bona fide researchers. Hours: Thursday & Friday, 10am until 4pm. Please contact the Provincial Archivist by email for an appointment at
Conditions Governing ReproductionNo material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Provincial Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is not permitted.
Creation Dates1895-1964
Extent Medium34 boxes
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Characteristics Tech ReqBound volumes, photographs, loose documents. Careful handling is required
Finding Aids Descriptive lists can be consulted in the Provincial Archives Office, Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Related MaterialSociety of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Provincial Archives; Aberdeen, Armagh, Harcourt Street-Lesson Street, Kilgraston, Monkstown, Mount Anville, Roscrea

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteEibhlis Connaughton,1994
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions42036