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Catholic Church of Saint Patrick and Saint Bridget, Sion, County Wexford
15703238
Representative view of church.
Reg. No.15703238
Date1910 - 1915
Previous NameN/A
TownlandSION
CountyCounty Wexford
Coordinates301708, 127320
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL SOCIAL TECHNICAL
RatingRegional
Original Usechurch/chapel
In Use Aschurch/chapel
 
Description
Detached seven-bay double-height Catholic church, designed 1912; built 1912-4; opened 1914, on a rectangular plan comprising six-bay double-height nave opening into single-bay double-height chancel (north). Renovated, 1976, with sanctuary reordered. Pitched slate roofs with perforated crested clay ridge tiles, cut-granite coping to gables on cut-granite ogee corbel kneelers with Cross finials to apexes including cut-granite coping to gable to entrance (south) front on cut-granite ogee corbel kneelers with granite ashlar buttressed gabled bellcote to apex framing embossed cast-bronze bell ("----"), and cast-iron rainwater goods on cut-granite consoles retaining cast-iron downpipes. Cut-granite banded tuck pointed snecked rock faced conglomerate stone walls on margined rock faced cut-granite cushion course on battered plinth with margined rock faced cut-granite buttresses including margined rock faced cut-granite buttresses to corners having cut-granite "slated" coping. Lancet window openings with drag edged dragged cut-limestone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals framing storm glazing over fixed-pane fittings having stained glass margins centred on square glazing bars. Lancet "Trinity Window" to chancel (north) with drag edged dragged cut-limestone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals framing iron mesh storm panels over fixed-pane fittings having leaded stained glass panels. Pointed-arch door opening to entrance (south) front with cut-granite step threshold, and drag edged dragged cut-limestone block-and-start surround having chamfered reveals with hood moulding over on monolithic label stops framing timber boarded or tongue-and-groove timber panelled double doors. Lancet flanking window openings, drag edged dragged cut-limestone 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 gable, drag edged dragged cut-limestone 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. Interior including vestibule (south); square-headed door opening into nave with glazed timber panelled double doors having sidelights on panelled risers below overlights; full-height interior open into roof with arcaded choir gallery (south) on a half-octagonal plan on chamfered timber pillars, encaustic tiled central aisle between Maltese Cross-detailed timber pews, timber panelled wainscoting supporting carved timber dado rail, paired Gothic-style timber stations between frosted glass windows, exposed pointed-arch braced scissor truss timber roof construction on beaded "Bowtell" corbels with wind braced diagonal timber boarded or tongue-and-groove timber panelled ceiling in carved timber frame on carved timber cornice, and mosaic tiled cut-veined white marble stepped dais to sanctuary (north) reordered, 1976, with pointed-arch chancel arch framing Gothic-style reredos below stained glass memorial "Trinity Window" (1913) in mosaic tiled surround. Set in landscaped grounds with drag edged dragged limestone ashlar piers to perimeter having roll moulded gabled capping supporting wrought iron double gates.

Appraisal

A church erected to designs (1912-8) by William Henry Byrne and Son (formed 1902) of Suffolk Street, Dublin (DIA), representing an important component of the early twentieth-century built heritage of County Wexford with the architectural value of the composition, one recalling the Byrne-designed Catholic Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (1913-6), Strade, County Mayo, confirmed by such attributes as the rectilinear plan form, aligned along a liturgically-incorrect axis; the robust rock faced surface finish offset by deep grey limestone dressings not only demonstrating good quality workmanship, but also producing a mild polycromatic palette; the slender profile of the openings underpinning a "medieval" Gothic theme with the chancel defined by an elegant "Trinity Window"; and the handsome bellcote embellishing the roofline 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 reordered (1976) in accordance with the liturgical reforms sanctioned by the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican (1962-5) where contemporary joinery; a gilded reredos; and a vibrant "Trinity Window" signed (1913) by Franz Mayer and Company (founded 1847) of Munich and London, all highlight the artistic potential of the composition: meanwhile, an exposed timber roof construction pinpoints the engineering or technical dexterity of a church forming part of a neat self-contained group alongside an adjacent parochial house (1845) with the resulting ecclesiastical ensemble making a pleasing visual statement in a sylvan street scene.
 
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