Survey Data

Reg No

22802008


Date

1855 - 1865


Townland

BALLYNEAL


County

County Waterford


Coordinates

238505, 114243


Description

Detached twelve-bay single- and two-storey Gothic Revival Catholic church, built 1860, comprising ten-bay double-height nave with ten-bay single-storey lean-to side aisles to north-west and to south-east having single-bay single-storey gabled projecting porch to south, and two-bay double-height lower chancel to north-east with two-bay single-storey chapel to east, and two-bay two-storey sacristy to north. Pitched slate roofs (lean-to to side aisles; gabled to porch) with clay ridge tiles, cut-stone coping having cross finials to apexes (bellcote to apex to sacristy), and cast-iron rainwater goods on cut-stone eaves. Broken coursed squared limestone walls with buttresses, and stepped buttresses to south-west and to north-east. Pointed-arch window openings with paired lancet lights having quatrefoil to arch in cut-sandstone block-and-start surrounds having chamfered reveals, and hood mouldings over with cut-limestone voussoirs. Pointed-arch window opening over entrance to south-west and to chancel with five trefoil-headed lights having octafoils and trefoils to arches in cut-sandstone block-and-start surrounds with chamfered reveals, and hood mouldings over with cut-limestone voussoirs. Fixed-pane leaded stained glass windows to all window openings. Quatrefoil window openings to porch in cut-sandstone surrounds with fixed-pane fittings. Shouldered square-headed door opening to south-west in pointed-arch recess with cut-sandstone surround having moulded reveals, and hood mouldings over. Pointed-arch door opening to porch with cut-sandstone moulded reveals, and hood moulding over. Tongue-and-groove timber panelled double doors to all door openings. Full-height interior open into roof with glazed timber panelled internal porch to south-west having timber panelled gallery over, carved timber pews, pointed-arch arcade to side aisles on cut-granite columns, open timber roof construction on cut-granite corbels, pointed-arch chancel arch with moulded plaster reveals, decorative Gothic-style marble reredos, and coffered timber ceiling. Set back from line of road in own grounds. (ii) Graveyard to site with various cut-stone grave markers, c.1860 - present. (iii) Gateway, c.1910, to west comprising pair of wrought iron open work piers with gas lamp holders over, decorative wrought iron double gates, open work outer piers forming flanking pedestrian gateways with decorative wrought iron gates, and sections of rubble stone flanking boundary walls to perimeter of site.

Appraisal

This church, designed by James Joseph McCarthy (1817-1882), is a fine and monumental composition in the Gothic Revival style. Prominently set in the centre of the village of Clonea, the church forms a landmark site in the locality. The construction of the church attests to high quality stone masonry, particularly in the fine detailing throughout and to the window openings. The church retains its original fabric and fittings, including stained glass windows of artistic merit, produced by the Harry Clarke studios. Of technical merit is the open timber construction to the roof, together with the arcading to the side aisles. The church is surrounded by an attendant graveyard containing markers of design distinction and high quality craftsmanship, while the gateway is of an ornate design and adds variety to the road front.