Survey Data

Reg No

21803002


Date

1820 - 1830


Townland

BRUFF


County

County Limerick


Coordinates

162825, 136423


Description

Freestanding gable-fronted Gothic Revival Roman Catholic church, begun in 1828 and completed in 1833, comprising gable-fronted porch to front (south) elevation, five-bay nave, three-stage square-profile broach tower to west and gable-fronted chancel to north elevation. Gabled sacristy and lean-tos to east elevation. Pitched slate roof having limestone bracketed eaves course, limestone copings and wrought-iron cross finial. Pitched slate roof to chancel with wrought-iron ridge crestings, limestone copings and cross finial. Octagonal limestone spire having wrought-iron finial to tower. Snecked limestone walls with limestone capped buttresses to front, west, east elevations and tower. Rendered wall to west elevation having render plinth course. Tooled limestone date plaque to sacristy door, south elevation. Trefoil-headed opening over pointed arch opening to front with limestone hoodmoulding over limestone tracery stained glass windows. Pointed arch openings to nave and tower, first stage, comprising sexfoil openings over paired trefoil-headed stained glass windows with tooled limestone surrounds. Trefoil-headed lancet stained glass windows to tower, second stage having tooled limestone surrounds and voussoirs. Paired lancet openings to tower, third stage with tooled limestone surrounds and louvered vents. Pointed arch opening to chancel, north elevation having limestone tracery stained glass windows. Paired pointed arch openings to sacristy with stained glass windows. Pointed arch opening comprising limestone hoodmoulding, roll moulded surround, marble Doric style columns having limestone cap, tympanum with quatrefoil motif and shouldered square-headed double-leaf timber battened doors. Shouldered square-headed opening to sacristy, south elevation having chamfered limestone surround and timber battened door with wrought-iron strap hinges. Trefoil-headed opening to sacristy, north elevation having quarry glazed overlight over timber battened door. Timber hammerbeam roof to interior. Timber open work gallery to entrance. Pointed arch arcade to chancel with ornate render hoodmoulding and square-profile chamfered columns. Marble reredos to altar. Pair of square-profile limestone piers having cross finial motifs, double-leaf cast-iron gates and pedestrian entrances with single-leaf cast-iron gates terminating in second pair of piers. Snecked limestone walls having cast-iron railings. Graveyard to site.

Appraisal

This elaborate Early English style Gothic Revival church displays high quality design in its form and skill in its execution. The building is a manifestation of the emerging confidence of the Irish Catholic Church in the mid nineteenth century. Its coherent decorative scheme culminates in the ornate tower with octagonal spire, which unifies the Gothic theme. The Gothic theme is continued in the interior, which retains its carved timber gallery and hammerbeam roof. The composition of the site is enhanced by the well carved limestone piers. Date plaque to wall records the commencement of the church by the Rev. Dr. Ryan: '1828 Andra. Ryan V.G.P.P.'