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St. Feichin's Roman Catholic church, Fore, County Westmeath
View from the southeast.
Reg. No.15400803
Date1880 - 1912
Previous NameN/A
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates251245, 270212
Original Usechurch/chapel
Detached double-height Roman Catholic church, built c.1885, comprising four-bay nave, single-bay chancel to the southeast with single-storey sacristy attached to southwest side with a single-bay entrance porch to the southeast end of main elevation (southeast). Four-stage tower, on square-plan having an octagonal belfry and spire over, flanking nave to northwest, built c.1912. Pitched natural slate roof with bracketed eaves, raised moulded limestone verges to gable ends and decorative ridge cresting and cast-iron rainwater goods. Modern glass section added to roof at southeast end of nave. Constructed of dark rock-faced limestone having extensive light-coloured ashlar/dressed limestone trim, including dressings to openings and flush string courses. Clasping buttress between each bay to nave and to the corners. Cusped lancet openings to nave and to tower, triple graded cusped lancet window to nave gable (northwest) and a wide pointed-arched opening to the chancel gable having Geometric cut stone tracery with stained glass windows. Pointed-arched doorcase to southwest face of tower having dressed limestone surround having hoodmoulding and timber sheeted double doors with a plain overlight above. Pointed segmental/Tudor arch to the northwest face to porch having cut stone surround with timber panelled door. Set back from road in own grounds with rubble limestone boundary wall to road frontage having decorative cast-iron railings over (to central section) and cast-iron double gates. Cut stone plaque reading 'St Feichin's Fore 1885 A.D.' built into wall. Graveyard to southeast of church with collection of cut limestone and slate headstones. Remains of former St. Mary's church (late Medieval) to the east and the remains of a small penal chapel to the north, set in a graveyard. Site located towards the southeast end of Fore Village.


An appealing and well-detailed small-scale church, built in a robust Gothic Revival-style, which retains its early form, character and fabric. It is built using high quality stone masonry throughout, whilst the spire adds incident to the southern end of Fore Village. The combination of the dark rock-faced limestone with the smooth light-coloured ashlar detailing creates an interesting textural variation to the exterior and is of visual appeal. The mixture of window and door styles, along with the ornate stained glass, also adds an artistic quality to the church's façade. The tower and spire of this church was added to designs by W.H. Byrne & Son in 1912, a prominent architectural firm that was responsible for a number of commissions for the Roman Catholic Church at the time. It is very possible that this firm was also responsible for the earlier work, dated 1885. St Feichin's is on the site of an earlier T-plan chapel, indicated on a map of Fore in 1838 (Ordnance Survey first edition six-inch). The present edifice is an interesting addition to the very rich archaeological, architectural and historic landscape at Fore and is a worthy addition to the built heritage of Westmeath.
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