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St. Mary's Church of Ireland church, Church Street, Moate, County Westmeath
15317018
North elevation : view from main road.
Reg. No.15317018
Date1780 - 1790
Previous NameN/A
TownlandMOATEGRANOGE
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates218193, 238445
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC SOCIAL
RatingRegional
Original Usechurch/chapel
In Use Aschurch/chapel
 
Description
Freestanding Church of Ireland church, built c.1782 and altered c.1819 and c.1835, comprising a three-bay nave to the west, single-bay transepts to the north and south, a polygonal chancel to the east end and with an attached two-stage tower on square-plan to the west gable end having raised parapet with Irish-style crenellations over. Pitched natural slate roof with a raised stone verge to the west gable end and with a projecting corbelled eaves course. Curved roof to the east end over chancel. Constructed with rubble limestone with roughcast rendered finish over to the south side of nave. Roughcast rendered finish to tower. Pointed-arched window openings to the nave openings and to the end elevations of transepts having timber sliding sash windows with intersecting tracery to heads. Pointed-arched window to the chancel gable having Y-tracery and stained glass windows. Pointed-arched windows to the east faces of transepts with triple-light stained glass windows. Pointed-arched doorcase to the north face of tower, set within a raised square-headed cut stone surround/panel, having timber double doors. Pointed-arched openings over doorway to the belfry having timber louvers. Interesting interior to church with decorative tiled floor, moulded ceiling cornice, timber panelled choir/balcony to the west end, decorative carved timber pulpit and a number of memorial monuments. Set back from road to the west end of Moate, surrounded by a graveyard on rectangular plan. Rubble limestone wall with wrought-iron railings over to road frontage (north). Main entrance gates to the north, comprising a pair of rubble limestone gate piers (on square-plan having cut stone capstones) supporting a pair of wrought-iron gates.

Appraisal

An appealing, if plainly detailed, late eighteenth-century Church of Ireland, built in a subdued Gothic Revival-style, which retains its early form and character. This church is enhanced by the retention of most of its early fabric, both to the interior and the exterior. The curved chancel to the east end is an unusual and distinctive feature. The layout of this church is typical of the standard hall and tower church, which were built in great numbers, particularly between 1808-1830, using loans and grants from the Board of First Fruits (1722-1833). These small, simple, but well-built churches have become almost iconographic features of the rural Irish countryside. Lewis (1837) records that this church was enlarged in 1819 using a gift of £300 and a loan of £500 from the Board of First Fruits, and lately repaired using a grant of £228 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The stained glass windows and the polygonal chancel to the east end may have been added as part of this early-to-mid nineteenth century alterations. This church at Moate differs slightly from the norm in that it has an unusually slender tower with Irish style crenellations over. This fine building is an integral element in the architectural heritage of Westmeath and a landmark feature in the streetscape of Moate. The graveyard, the main gates and the boundary walls complete the setting and add to this important composition.
 
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