Categories of Special Interest
Architectural Artistic Historical Social
Saint Munchin's Church of Ireland Church
In Use As
1825 - 1830
Detached four-bay Board of the First Fruits Church of Ireland Church, built in 1827, with a square-plan tower to the west elevation, and entrance porch northeast corner. Built on the site of a previous church. Pitched artificial slate roof to church, and pitched slate roof to porch. Limestone eaves course supports uPVC gutters. Generally squared and snecked limestone ashlar faced walls of church and tower, with limestone ashlar to angle corner buttresses. Limestone fractables to east elevation and porch, the latter with flush limestone chimneystack to apex. Tower surmounted by limestone ashlar crenellated parapet rising from recess arch panelled frieze, with crocketed pinnacles rising from buttressing. Pointed-arch window openings, with limestone drip moulding, chamfered limestone reveals and sills, and Perpendicular Gothic style timber tracery, largely clear glass with some stained glass surviving. Large pointed-arch window opening to east-facing chancel elevation with limestone drip mould and limestone Perpendicular Gothic cusped tracery. Pointed-arch lancet openings to tower, either boarded-up or retaining timber louvred panelling. Openings obscured by steel mesh security grilles. Pointed-arch door opening to south elevation of tower with squared limestone drip mould, cusped limestone spandrel panels, stepped chamfered reveals, and double-leaf plank timber doors with elaborate wrought-iron hinges, and plank timber tympanum. Door opens onto encaustic tile entrance platform. Pseudo-four-centred door opening to porch with limestone drip mould, chamfered reveals and limestone steps, and replacement plank timber door leaf. Church grounds situated on an outcrop overlooking the Shannon River to the west, and Villiers Alms Houses to the north. Site enclosed by rubble limestone walls with square-plan piers and wrought-iron gates. Pointed-arch pedestrian access from Castle Street with wrought-iron gates leads to grounds via narrow lane. Numerous recumbent stone grave markers and table-tombs of eighteenth and nineteenth century origins. Fine funerary monuments and mausoleums also therein.
Saint Munchin's forms a well-proportioned, though standard, Board of the First Fruits Church constructed by James Pain who was the architect to the Board for the Munster region. The Board was set up in 1813 and disbanded in 1834. A single-celled church was originally built on this site. The location of this fine church overlooking the River Shannon, contributes to the ensemble of historic buildings which includes Thomond Bridge, the toll house, and King John's Castle. The significant architectural quality and intactness of the mausolea add greatly to the importance of this church. The church currently functions as a dance studio and rehearsal venue.