Main Record - County Wexford
|Saint John's Church (Clonmore), County Wexford
|Date||1820 - 1830|
|Categories of Special Interest||ARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL SCIENTIFIC SOCIAL|
|In Use As||church/chapel|| |
Detached three-bay double-height single-cell Board of First Fruits Church of Ireland church, built 1825-7; consecrated 1828, on a rectangular plan with single-bay single-storey flat-roofed vestries centred on single-bay two-stage tower to entrance (west) front on a square plan. "Improved", 1832, producing present composition. "Restored", 2003. Pitched slate roof with lichen-covered clay ridge tiles, cut-granite "saddleback" coping to gables on cut-granite kneelers including cut-granite "saddleback" coping to gable to chancel (east) on cut-granite kneelers with cut-granite octagonal pinnacle to apex, and cast-iron rainwater goods on cut-granite eaves retaining cast-iron octagonal or ogee hoppers and downpipes. Slate hung walls; fine roughcast surface finish to tower on lichen-spotted cut-granite chamfered plinth with cut-granite "Cavetto" stringcourse (bell stage) supporting cut-granite octagonal pinnacles centred on battlemented parapets having cut-granite "saddleback" coping. Pointed-arch window openings with Y-mullions, and rendered cut-granite surrounds having chamfered reveals framing fixed-pane fittings having stained glass margins centred on square glazing bars. Pointed-arch window opening to chancel (east) with Y-mullions, and rendered cut-granite surround having chamfered reveals framing storm glazing over fixes-pane fittings having stained glass margins centred on square glazing bars. Tudor-headed door opening to tower with cut-granite step threshold, and cut-granite surround having chamfered reveals with hood moulding over framing timber boarded or tongue-and-groove timber panelled double doors having overpanels. Pointed-arch opening (bell stage), cut-granite surround having chamfered reveals with hood moulding over framing applied timber Y-mullions over louvered timber fitting. Interior including vestibule (west); square-headed door opening into nave with timber panelled double doors; full-height interior with quatrefoil-detailed memorial baptismal font (1877) on an octagonal plan on clustered colonette pedestal, tessellated glazed terracotta tiled central aisle between Gothic-style timber pews, cut-white marble Classical-style wall monuments (----), trefoil-perforated Gothic-style timber pulpit on an octagonal plan with timber clerk's desk, encaustic tiled stepped dais to chancel (east) with wrought iron-detailed barley twist balusters supporting carved timber communion railing centred on Gothic-style altar below frosted glass "East Window", and vaulted ceiling on moulded plasterwork cornice. Set in landscaped grounds with benchmark-inscribed granite ashlar piers to perimeter having cut-granite shallow pyramidal capping supporting wrought iron double gates.
A church erected with financial support from the Board of First Fruits (fl. 1711-1833), and on a site donated (1825) by Harry Alcock (1792-1840) of Wilton Castle (Lewis 1837 I, 373), representing an integral component of the early nineteenth-century built heritage of County Wexford with the architectural value of the composition, one recalling the near-contemporary Ballycarney Church (1834), Ballycarney (see 15701510), confirmed by such attributes as the standardised nave-with-entrance tower plan form, aligned along a liturgically-correct axis; the "pointed" profile of the openings underpinning a later English Georgian Gothic theme with the chancel defined by a restrained "East Window"; and the polygonal pinnacles embellishing the tower as a picturesque eye-catcher in the landscape. 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, including a slate hung surface finish widely regarded as an increasingly endangered hallmark of the architectural heritage of County Wexford: meanwhile, contemporary joinery; Classical wall monuments; encaustic tile work; and sleek plasterwork refinements, all highlight the artistic potential of a church forming part of a neat group alongside a nearby glebe house (see 15702572) with the resulting ecclesiastical ensemble making a pleasing visual statement in a sylvan street scene.
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