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Saint Joseph's Catholic Church originally Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Ballyduff, County Wexford
15701010
Representative view of church.
Reg. No.15701010
Date1870 - 1875
Previous NameN/A
TownlandBALLYDUFF (SC. BY.) KILCOMB ED
CountyCounty Wexford
Coordinates303620, 154901
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL SOCIAL TECHNICAL
RatingRegional
Original Usechurch/chapel
In Use Aschurch/chapel
 
Description
Detached four-bay double-height single-cell Catholic church, built 1872-3; dedicated 1873, on a rectangular plan with single-bay three-stage tower (south-west) on a square plan. Completed, 1912. Renovated, ----, with sanctuary reordered. Pitched slate roof with roll moulded clay ridge tiles, cut-granite coping to gables on cut-granite "Cavetto" kneelers with Cross finials to apexes, and cast-iron rainwater goods on cut-granite "Cavetto" consoles retaining cast-iron downpipes. Tuck pointed snecked rubble stone wall to entrance (south) front with cut-granite diagonal stepped buttresses to corners having cut-granite "slated" coping; tuck pointed coursed or snecked rubble stone walls (remainder) with cut-granite flush quoins to corners. Lancet window openings, cut-granite block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals with hood mouldings over on monolithic label stops framing storm glazing over fixed-pane fittings having stained glass margins centred on square glazing bars. Lancet "Trinity Window" to chancel (north), cut-granite block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals with hood mouldings over on monolithic label stops framing storm glazing over fixed-pane fittings having leaded stained glass panels. Pointed-arch door opening to entrance (south) front with cut-granite step threshold, and cut-granite block-and-start surround having chamfered reveals with hood moulding over on monolithic label stops framing replacement timber boarded or tongue-and-groove timber panelled double doors. Pointed-arch window opening to gable with cut-granite Y-mullion, and cut-granite block-and-start surround having chamfered reveals with hood moulding over on monolithic label stops framing storm glazing over fixed-pane fittings having stained glass margins centred on square glazing bars. Interior including vestibule (south); square-headed door opening into nave with replacement glazed timber double doors; full-height interior open into roof with choir gallery (south) below stained glass "South Window" (----), central aisle between cruciform-detailed timber pews, timber stations between stained glass windows, exposed pointed-arch braced scissor truss timber roof construction on cut-granite "Cavetto" corbels with wind braced ceiling, and carpeted cut-veined white marble stepped dais to sanctuary (north) reordered, ----, with pointed-arch chancel arch framing cut-veined white marble panelled altar below stained glass memorial "Trinity Window" (----). Set in landscaped grounds.

Appraisal

A church representing an important component of the later nineteenth-century ecclesiastical heritage of north County Wexford with the architectural value of the composition confirmed by such attributes as the compact rectilinear plan form, aligned along a liturgically-incorrect axis; the construction in an ochre-coloured fieldstone offset by silver-grey granite dressings not only demonstrating good quality workmanship, but also producing a pleasing palette; the slender profile of the openings underpinning a "medieval" Gothic theme with the chancel defined by an elegant "Trinity Window"; and the Irish battlements embellishing the tower as a picturesque eye-catcher in the landscape: meanwhile, a discreet inscription ("1912") clearly illustrates the belated completion of the church in the early twentieth century. Having been well maintained, the elementary form and massing survive intact together with substantial quantities of the original fabric, both to the exterior and to the interior reordered (----) in accordance with the liturgical reforms sanctioned by the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican (1962-5) where the vibrant Murphy Memorial "Trinity Window" (----) highlights the artistic potential of the composition: meanwhile, an exposed timber roof construction pinpoints the engineering or technical dexterity of a church making a pleasing visual statement in a rural street scene.
 
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