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Corpus Christi, Ganly Place, Athlone, County Westmeath
15000023
General view looking west.
Reg. No.15000023
Date1835 - 1845
Previous NameN/A
TownlandATHLONE AND BIGMEADOW
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates203609, 241369
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC ARCHAEOLOGICAL HISTORICAL SOCIAL
RatingRegional
Original Usechurch/chapel
In Use Aschurch/chapel
Additional Usepark
 
Description
Semi-detached Gothic Revival-style Church of Ireland church, built c.1840, now in use as Roman Catholic church (since 1992). Consists of three-bay bay nave with shallow single-bay chancel to west end, large gabled porch on rectangular plan and a belltower on square-plan to east (nave gable). Crenellated parapets to tower and porch. Pitched natural slate roof with bracketed eaves, raised gable verges with ashlar coping and cast-iron rainwater goods. Constructed of coursed limestone rubble with ashlar trim. Diagonally-set clasping buttresses to corners of porch and nave. Lancet windows with hoodmouldings and ashlar surrounds throughout, three graded lancet openings to the chancel gable. Pointed-arched doorcase with hoodmouldings and replacement timber doors to north side of porch. Interesting interior with moulding cornice, wooden panelling with quatrefoil panels and an elaborate white marble altarpiece by James Pearse, reputedly moved from Carysford College. Set in own grounds with graveyard and re-erected limestone obelisk (15000396). Surrounded by modern iron railings.

Appraisal

A good early-Victorian Gothic Revival church with crisp ashlar detailing and an unusual combination of small belltower and large porch. It retains its original form and much of its original fabric and fittings. Built to designs by Joseph Welland (1798-1860), a noted church architect of his day. Welland was responsible for all Church of Ireland building projects in Ireland from 1843. This church is built on the site of the Priory of SS Peter and Paul, built c. 1200, and then a Church of Ireland church built in 1804 and later demolished to make way for present edifice. It is possible that this present church contains fabric from these earlier buildings. The present church was closed by the Church of Ireland in 1941 and used as a church hall and later as a warehouse until donated to Roman Catholic Church in 1992. This change of denomination is unusual and adds an extra historical element to this church. Grounds donated as a public park in 1985 and continues to be an attractive local amenity.
 
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