Main Record - County Westmeath
|St. Thomas' Church of Ireland church, Rathowen, County Westmeath
|Date||1810 - 1825|
|Previous Name||Rathaspic Parish church|
|Categories of Special Interest||ARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC SOCIAL|
|In Use As||church/chapel|| |
Freestanding Church of Ireland church, built in 1814, comprising three-bay nave with three-stage tower on square-plan with castellated parapet and corner pinnacles attached to southeast. Enlarged c.1821 with the addition of two single-bay single-storey vestibules with castellated parapets and corner pinnacles to either side of tower. Pitched slate roof with projecting stone eaves course, cast-iron rainwater goods and raised stone verges to chancel gable. Roughcast-rendered with ashlar limestone detailing. Pointed-arched openings to nave and to side vestibules with Y-tracery with latticed windows and quarry glass. Pointed-arch triple-light window with cut stone geometric tracery and stained glass to chancel gable. Pointed-arched doorcase with limestone block-and-start surrounds and timber sheeted double-doors to front of tower. Datestone (1814) and blind circular recess above to second stage and pointed-arched louvred belfry to third stage. Set well back from road in own grounds with graveyard to site. Surrounded by rubble limestone wall with cast-iron double gates and rubble limestone gate piers on square-plan with cut limestone coping to south at start of approach avenue to church.
A well-composed modest-scale church with subdued Gothic detailing, the form and massing of which is typical of a standard plan approved by the Board of First Fruits in the early nineteenth-century. The original structure was built using a loan of £800 from the Board in 1814 and the 1821 works were carried out using a further loan of £200. well-maintained, this attractive church retains its early form, character and fabric. The carved ashlar detailing is of artistic merit. This church forms an appealing landmark in the locality with the pinnacles to the tower providing visual incident to the skyline of Rathowen.
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