Society of the Sacred Heart, Mount Anville

Repository: Society of the Sacred Heart Provincial Archives

Identity Statement

TitleSociety of the Sacred Heart, Mount Anville
Archive ReferenceIE SSHI-S/MAV
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1853-1964
Extent Medium87 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 1853 the Society of the Sacred Heart bought Glasnevin House and Mother Eliza Croft established a convent, a boarding school and a free school there. The property was situated on thirty-seven acres. It had belonged to Charles Lindsay, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin until he passed it to his son George Hayward Lindsay in 1832. On 7 October 1853 the Convent of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Glasnevin opened its boarding school for young ladies. In 1854, a novitiate was established and in 1856 a school for the poor. The schools were so successful that by 1865 it was necessary to find larger premises. Fortunately a considerable legacy had been left to the Society which enabled them to buy Mount Anville from William Dargan (Head of the Irish Railroad) who was in financial difficulties. He had bought Mount Anville estate in 1851 and on 29 August 1853 Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the two young Princes visited the estate in connection with the Great Industrial Exhibition in Dublin, which had been entirely funded by Dargan. On 5 August 1865 the school transferred south side and Mount Anville became the property of the Society of the Sacred Heart. The first impressions of the community have been preserved in a letter to Rome ‘this beautiful property, situated near the sea has a delightful view of the mountains and bay of Dublin…’ In 1865 the number of pupils, both Junior and Senior, was limited to forty but then increased to sixty until about 1914 when the numbers increased considerably. In April 1866 a free school was opened with numbers growing to one hundred pupils. By 1868 a new school building was complete. It contained four dormitories, refectory, classrooms and a large study room. The granite chapel was finished in 1889, featuring a stained-glass window by renowned Irish artist Harry Clarke. Superior General, Mother Josephine Goetz visited the convent in 1869 and authorised the building of a new school to be called Mount Anville National School. In 1955 this school was moved to a new large, modern building near Kilmacud Road. In 1920 a large community wing was begun including a Noviceship. In 1921 the new buildings were begun under Mother Mary Walsh and comprised Mater Wing and the community blocks. In 1928 the tennis courts were complete. In 1954 the Montessori Department opened with nine pupils. In 1967 the Sacred Heart school at Lesson Street closed and the community and some pupils transferred to Mount Anville. Also during the 1960’s the school at Monkstown wound down with some pupils transferring to Mount Anville. Mount Anville currently comprises of Mount Anville Montessori School, Mount Anville Junior School, Mount Anville Primary School and Mount Anville Secondary School.
  • 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, Mount Anville, Dublin, Ireland.
  • 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 and convent at Mount Anville from 1853 to 1964. Included are financial and administrative records, school journals, student registers and records of sodalities. The documents relate to the Montessori, national school, junior school and senior school.
    It is a large collection containing photographs, property records and employment records. There are documents relating to important visits including that of Queen Victoria in 1853.
    The collection contains a wealth of information regarding religious sisters, Catholic education, women’s history and local history.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    All items retained permanently
  • Accruals ↴

    Periodic accruals
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    A. Property, 1853 – 1964
    B. Finance, 1853 – 1964
    C. House Journals, 1853 – 1964
    D. RSCJ, 1853 – 1964
    E. Important Visits, 1853 – 1964
    1. Queen Victoria
    2. Superior Generals
    F. Education
    1. Pupils, 1853 – 1964
    2. Finance, 1854 – 1964
    3. Policy, management, staff, 1875 – 1964
    4. History, celebrations, prizegivings 1910 – 1964
    5. Montessori School, 1964 – 1964
    6. Merge of Mater Admirabilis Day School and boarding school, 1966
    7. Publications, 1971-2000
    8. Primary school, 1877-1964
    9. Mater Admirabilis Day School, 1954-66
    10. External education organisations, 1960-64
    11. Mount Anville Hymnal music, c. 1950- c. 1964
    G. Records of employments, 1854-1964
    H. Sodalities, confraternities, associations, c. 1855-1964
    I. Photographs, c. 19th-20th centuries
    J. Relationship with ecclesiastics, 1870-1954
    K. Formation records
    1. Noviceship records, c. 19th-20th centuries
    2. Vows, c. 19th-20th centuries
    3. Probation, c. 20th century
    L. Heritage of Society of the Sacred Heart and Mount Anville, c. 19th century-1964
    M. Retreats, c. 19th century-1964
    N. Vicariate/provincial matters
    1. General, [c. 1880s]-1964
    2. Other Ireland/Scotland communities, c. 1928-1964
    3. Post Vatican II smaller communities, 1964
    O. Reading materials, 1922-60s
    P. Legal correspondence, 1920s-40s
    Q. Society of the Sacred Heart, c. 20th century
    R. Eucharistic Congress, 1932
    S. William Teeling, 1937-38
    T. Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, 1937-64
    U. Employees, 1948-c. 1964
    V. Local area, 1976-93
    W. Poem, 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 Dates1853-1964
Extent Medium87 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, Craiglockhart, Harcourt Street-Lesson Street, Kilgraston, Monkstown, 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