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Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, Portlaw, County Waterford
22900819
Representative view of church.
Reg. No.22900819
Date1855 - 1860
Previous NameN/A
TownlandCOOLFINN
CountyCounty Waterford
Coordinates246652, 114452
Categories of Special InterestARTISTIC ARCHITECTURAL SOCIAL TECHNICAL
RatingNational
Original Usechurch/chapel
In Use Aschurch/chapel
 
Description
Detached six-bay double-height Gothic Revival Catholic church, begun 1858, comprising five-bay double-height nave with single-bay five-stage engaged tower to north on a square plan having polygonal spire, single-bay double-height lower chancel to south-east, and six-bay single-storey lean-to side aisles to north-east and to south-west having three-bay single-storey sacristy to south-west. Pitched slate roofs (lean-to to side aisles; pitched to sacristy) with clay ridge tiles, cut-stone coping to gables having cross finials to apexes, cut-stone chimney stack to gable to sacristy, and cast-iron rainwater goods on cut-stone eaves. Limestone ashlar polygonal spire to tower on cut-stone course with gablets having trefoil motifs, and wrought iron cross finial to apex on cut-stone base. Broken coursed squared limestone walls (part repointed, c.2000, with cement) with cut-limestone dressings including stepped buttresses, and limestone ashlar walls to top (bell) stage to tower on cut-stone course. Pierced trefoil window openings to nave forming clere-storey with cut-limestone surrounds having chamfered reveals. Paired lancet window openings to south-east having cut-stone block-and-start surrounds with chamfered reveals extending over into hexafoil opening to gable having surround forming pointed-arch frame supporting cut-limestone voussoirs. Grouped (three) lancet window openings to chancel with cut-limestone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals, and shared hood moulding over supporting cut-limestone voussoirs. Pointed-arch window openings to side aisles with cut-limestone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals, mullions forming paired lancet arrangement with oculus to arch, and hood mouldings over. Fixed-pane leaded stained glass windows to all window openings. Pointed-arch door openings to south-east and to side aisles with cut-stone steps, cut-stone block-and-start surrounds having moulded reveals, cut-stone voussoirs over, and glazed timber panelled double doors with decorative wrought iron hinges. Lancet and square-headed window openings to tower with cut-stone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals and fixed-pane fittings. Trefoil-headed openings to top (bell) stage with cut-stone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals, hood mouldings over, and louvered panel fittings. Pointed-arch window openings to sacristy with cut-stone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals, and iron casement windows. Shouldered square-headed door opening to sacristy with cut-stone block-and-start surround, and tongue-and-groove timber panelled door. Full-height interior open into roof with glazed diagonal tongue-and-groove timber panelled internal porch supporting timber gallery over to first floor to south-east, carved timber pews, pointed-arch arcade to side aisles on cut-granite pillars, exposed timber roof construction on cut-stone corbels, pointed-arch chancel arch, decorative Gothic-style furniture to altar, carved timber Gothic-style reredos, and coffered ceiling to chancel. Set back from line of road in own grounds with random rubble stone boundary wall to perimeter of site having cut-stone piers with moulded cut-limestone capping, wrought iron double gates, and wrought iron flanking pedestrian gate to right (north-east) with cut-stone pier having moulded cut-limestone capping. (ii) Graveyard to site with various cut-stone grave markers and table tombs, c.1860 - present.

Appraisal

A fine, monumental Gothic Revival church, built by Richard Pierce (n. d.) to designs prepared by James Joseph McCarthy (1817 - 1882), forming an imposing landmark in the locality, identified by the slender tower and spire that articulate the skyline. Austerely detailed to the exterior, the pattern of the stone work together with the carved surrounds to the openings serve to enliven the external expression of the composition. A lofty interior augments the importance of the church, containing a variety of items of artistic interest, including fine timber joinery and stained glass panels, together with an exposed timber roof construction of technical merit. An attendant graveyard enhances the setting quality of the composition, and includes a number of markers that are indicative of high quality artistry and craftsmanship.
 
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