Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social
In Use As
1815 - 1820
Detached three-bay double-height Board of First Fruits Church of Ireland church, built 1817, with single-bay single-storey advanced bay to south-west. Extended, 1880 – 1881, comprising single-bay double-height transept to south-east, two-bay double-height over basement lower chancel to north-east, and single-bay three-stage corner tower to west on a square plan having broach spire. Renovated, pre-1999. Pitched slate roofs (hipped to advanced bay) with crested ridge tiles, cut-stone coping to gables, and cast-iron rainwater goods on brackets. Cut-stone broach spire to tower with iron finial. Random rubble red sandstone walls to nave part repointed, pre-1999, and broken coursed squared red sandstone walls to chancel having diagonal stepped buttresses with cut-stone dressings. Unpainted replacement cement render, pre-1999, to transept. Broken coursed squared red sandstone walls to tower with clasping buttresses having cut-stone dressings, and cut-stone date stones/plaques. Lancet window openings (in tripartite arrangement to chancel) with cut-stone sills, block-and-start surrounds, and fixed-pane windows (some leaded with some having stained glass panels). Square-headed window openings to tower with cut-stone chamfered surrounds. Paired lancet openings to top (bell) stage to tower in pointed-arch frame with cut-stone surround, and louvered panel fittings. Pointed-arch door opening to tower with cut-stone surround, polished granite colonettes having foliate capitals, and tongue-and-groove timber panelled double doors. Full-height interior open into roof with carved timber pews, cut-stone wall monuments, exposed timber roof construction, and painted red brick Flemish bond-lined walls to chancel having replacement communion railing, 1954. Set back from road in own grounds with random rubble stone boundary wall to perimeter of site having pair of cut-stone piers with wrought iron double gates. (ii) Graveyard to site with various cut-stone grave markers, c.1815 - present.
An attractive, well-composed, middle-size church, the original portion built following the allocation of a grant by the Board of First Fruits (fl. c.1711 – 1833), and possibly following the donation of a site by Lord Waterford (n. d.). Subsequently considerably enlarged, the church attests to the increased prosperity of the Church of Ireland community in Dunmore East in the late nineteenth century. The construction in locally-sourced red sandstone with cut-stone dressings produces an appealing, textured and somewhat polychromatic visual effect, and is indicative of high quality stone masonry. Well maintained, the church presents an early aspect, with substantial quantities of the original fittings and materials intact, both to the exterior and to the interior. Among a range of items of artistic design distinction to the interior are cut-stone wall monuments, and delicate stained glass panels, while an exposed timber roof construction is of some technical engineering interest. A group of markers to the attendant graveyard enhances the setting quality of the composition, indicating high quality craftsmanship. The church forms a picturesque and prominent landmark in the townscape of Dunmore East, positioned on an elevated site at the junction of three roads, and is identified in the skyline by the elegant tower and spire. The church is of additional importance in the locality for its historic associations with Reverend J. Morgan (n. d.), Joseph Malcomson (n. d.), and Maurice William Day (n. d.), amongst others.