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Villierstown Church, Villierstown, County Waterford
22819003
Representative view of church.
Reg. No.22819003
Date1745 - 1750
Previous NameN/A
TownlandVILLIERSTOWN
CountyCounty Waterford
Coordinates210270, 93005
Categories of Special InterestARTISTIC ARCHITECTURAL HISTORICAL SOCIAL TECHNICAL
RatingRegional
Original Usechurch/chapel
In Use Aschurch/chapel
 
Description
Detached four-bay double-height rubble stone Church of Ireland church, built 1748, on a cruciform plan comprising single-bay double-height nave with single-bay double-height transepts to north-west and to south-east, single-bay double-height chancel to north-east, and single-bay double-height lower entrance bay to south-west. Renovated, c.1900, with interior partly remodelled. Renovated, c.1975. Pitched slate roofs on a cruciform plan with sections of replacement artificial slate, c.1975, clay ridge tiles, cut-stone coping to gable to entrance bay (having rendered bellcote over with hipped slate roof, rolled lead ridge tiles, and ball finial to apex), and no rainwater goods on rendered squared rubble stone eaves. Random rubble stone walls (originally rendered with render surviving to north-east) with rubble stone stepped buttresses to chancel having open sections forming flying buttress motif, and cut-stone dressings to gable to entrance bay forming open bed pediment with cast-iron clock face, dated 1910, in cut-stone surround having cut-stone date stone/plaque below, and cut-stone archivolt over with keystone. Paired round-headed window openings to nave and to chancel with cut-stone sills, chamfered surrounds, and 9/9 timber sash windows. Round-headed window openings to transepts with cut-stone chamfered surrounds, and 16/8 timber sash windows. Venetian window opening to chancel in round-headed recess with rendered pilasters supporting frieze, entablature, archivolt, and fixed-pane leaded stained glass panels. Square-headed door opening to entrance bay with two cut-stone steps, cut-stone architrave having frieze, entablature over, and timber panelled double doors. Full-height interior open into roof with chequer-board tiled floor, timber panelled balcony to first floor to south-west on fluted cast-iron Doric columns, carved timber dressings to Venetian window opening, open work timber rood construction, c.1990, to nave (replacing original coved ceiling), and remains of decorative plasterwork cornice to chancel. Set back from road in own grounds with gravel forecourt, and landscaped grounds to site containing group of cut-stone grave markers, c.1750 - c.1925. (ii) Detached single-bay single-storey gable-fronted rubble stone outbuilding, c.1750, to north-east. Pitched (gable-fronted) slate roof with clay ridge tiles, and cut-stone coping to gables. Random rubble stone walls with lime mortar, and cut-stone dressings to gables forming open bed pediment. Round-headed door opening with cut-stone surround, timber boarded door, and overpanel. (iii) Gateway, c.1750, to south-west comprising pair of limestone ashlar piers with moulded capping, wrought iron double gates, and sections of random rubble stone flanking walls to boundary.

Appraisal

A well-composed, modest-scale church forming an important element of the townscape of Villierstown, as suggested by the prominent site in the centre of the village. Finely detailed, the church incorporates a range of distinctive features, including a variety of profiles to the openings, fine cut-stone detailing producing a reserved Classical effect, and a distinctive bellcote, all of which contribute significantly to the architectural design quality of the composition. Well maintained, the church retains most of its original form and massing, together with a range of important salient features and materials, which enhance the historic quality of the site. Decorative elements to the interior, including the remains of delicate plasterwork, contribute to the artistic design quality of the composition, while a later exposed timber roof construction is of some technical merit. The church is of additional importance in the locality for its historic associations with the Villiers Stuart family, and particularly Mary Villiers Stuart (1842 - 1907). The simple markers to the grounds enhance the picturesque quality of the site, while the gateway forms an appealing feature that contributes significantly to the visual appeal of the street scene.
 
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