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St. Brigid's Roman Catholic church, Boher, County Westmeath
15402430
View from the south.
Reg. No.15402430
Date1935 - 1945
Previous NameN/A
TownlandROWE OR TOORDILLION
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates227064, 245824
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC SOCIAL
RatingRegional
Original Usechurch/chapel
In Use Aschurch/chapel
 
Description
Freestanding Roman Catholic church, erected c.1940, comprising seven bay nave, a single-bay chancel to the north, and a three-stage belfry/campanile attached to the west side of the entrance front (south) having a Tuscan belfry stage with copper dome over. Pitched natural slate roof with raised limestone verges to either gable end having cut stone cross finials over. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Entrance front (south) and campanile constructed of channelled ashlar limestone with extensive ashlar trim, including double-height round-headed arch to the centre and raised block quoins to the corners of the front façade, which act as pilasters supporting open bed pediment to gable over). Round-headed window to the round-headed arch to south façade and round-headed openings to either side of nave, all with stained glass windows. Square-headed entrance to the centre of the entrance gable (south) with cut stone surround having timber double doors. Dedication plaque over with flanking scroll details. Main doorcase flanked to the east and the west by a round-headed recess having square-headed window openings. Round-headed statue niche to south face of tower, having statue of St. Brigit, with round-headed openings to belfry over having louvered vents. Simple interior with exposed kingpost roof. Set back from road in own grounds with cast-iron gates and railings to the south. Rubble stone grotto with statue of Virgin Mary to north of church. Located in an elevation site to the southeast of Ballymore.

Appraisal

An interesting church, built in a Hiberno-Romanesque style and incorporating a number of classical elements, which retains its early form, character and fabric. This church is very well-built using good quality ashlar limestone and it is given a sense grandeur and importance by the imposing entrance front and by the striking belltower topped by a copper cupola. It is unusual to find a church of this type and date in rural Ireland as most church building projects of the time were usually sited in the larger towns and the expanding suburbs of the major cities. This church replaced an earlier church at Boher, which was located to the south of the present structure. This church was built to designs by Ralph Byrne (1877-1946), a notable architect of his day, who also make the designs for the monumental Cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar and for the impressive St. Peter's church in Athlone. The good railings to the south complete the setting of this very fine and imposing composition.
 
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