Church of the Immaculate Conception
Built in 1826. Chapel Street.
Description taken from www.buildingsofireland.ie
Detached six-bay double-height Catholic church, built 1826, on a cruciform plan comprising four-bay double-height nave with single-bay double-height chamfered bays leading to single-bay double-height transepts to east and to west, single-bay double-height bowed apse to north having single-bay double-height flanking bays on triangular plans, and single-bay single-storey sacristy to north.
Renovated, 1868, with single-bay three-stage tower added to south on a square plan having single-bay single-storey flat-roofed projecting porch to ground floor.
Renovated, pre-1999. Pitched slate roofs on a T-shaped plan (continuing into half-polygonal section to apse; pitched to sacristy) with decorative red clay ridge tiles, cut-stone cross finials to apexes, and cast-iron rainwater goods on stepped rendered eaves. Flat roofs to tower and to porch not visible behind parapets. Painted rendered, ruled and lined walls (some elevations without ruling and lining) with rendered quoins to corners, and rendered channelled piers to tower and to porch extending into rendered battlemented parapets on stringcourses having elongated corner pinnacles. Pointed-arch window openings with rendered sills, and fixed-pane timber windows having timber mullions and tracery, and leaded stained glass panels. Pointed-arch openings to tower with rendered surrounds having rendered detailing, fixed-pane timber window to second stage, and louvered panel fittings to top (bell) stage. Pointed-arch door openings with rendered surrounds, and replacement tongue-and-groove timber panelled double doors, pre-1999, having overpanels. Full-height interior open into roof with carved timber pews, timber panelled gallery to first floor to south on fluted pillars, vaulted plaster ceiling on moulded cornice having consoles, carved fittings to altar (including communion railing and high altar), and decorative plasterwork Gothic-style reredos to apse extending into decorative plasterwork to vaulted ceiling over. Set back from road in own grounds with tarmacadam forecourt. (ii) Graveyard to site with various cut-stone grave markers and mausolea, c.1835 - present. (iii) Gateway, 1868, to south comprising pair of sandstone ashlar panelled hexagonal piers with moulded capping, decorative wrought iron double gates, decorative wrought iron pedestrian gates, sandstone ashlar hexagonal lower outer piers having moulded capping, and sections of decorative wrought iron flanking railings on painted roughcast plinth extending to sandstone ashlar hexagonal terminating piers with moulded capping.
Appraisal: A very fine middle-size church retaining its original form and massing, together with a range of important salient features and materials, both to the exterior and to the interior. The church incorporates a number of distinctive architectural and decorative elements, which serve to enhance the appeal of the composition. Foremost amongst these is the profile of the apse, which adds incident to the exterior of the building, and which is expressed to the interior by a highly ornate Gothic-style reredos of considerable artistic design distinction. The construction of the vaulted roof, together with the choir gallery, introduces an element of technical interest to the site. Further artefacts of artistic interest in the grounds include some attractive cut-stone grave markers and mausolea, each of which is indicative of high quality craftsmanship, while the gateway to the site forms an elegant feature in the streetscape.