Dublin: Monkstown Parish Church
A church was initially constructed on this site in the late-eighteenth century but in the 1820s the architect George Semple was engaged and transformed this by adding transepts, enlarging the tower and contributing the entire Moorish-Gothic mantle. The 1860s also saw further changes with the construction of a chancel to the design of John McCurdy which effectively modified the “T” plan to that of a cruciform. A well-cared for architectural gem of unique character, the Parish nevertheless suffered water ingress and other weathering over a number of years. Subsequent issues included damaged masonry, roof structures and plasterwork, as well as broken glazing and deteriorated tracery. In 2007 a large scale works programme was begun to address these issues and the Rev. Kevin Dalton and other church authorities applied to the Irish Georgian Society for specific funding to make possible the restoration of the tripartite East window. The Society was pleased to support this project and responded with a grant of €2,000.
Brief description of project:
The grant awarded by the Society assisted the following works: the removal of existing storm glazing; disassembly of the central lancet window; the complete re-leading of the glazing bars to remove bowing; re-installing the 1869 glass to the central lancet; cleaning and repainting the stay bars; and providing steel grills as improved and more appropriate weather protection.
The unique Moorish-Gothic style church is composed of random rubble granite stones with cut stone door and window openings and decorations. The front façade is adorned with a graduated bell tower and flanking transepts. Battlements, turrets, buttresses, and finials abound in the single-story, cruciform-plan church. A low pitched roof of Bangor slate surmounts the structure and is complete with lead gutters and flashings. Lancet windows of both clear and stained glass grace all areas of the church and include figurative and heraldic style glazing. The tripartite East chancel window is a particular focal point and is completed in a carpet pattern. Inside encaustic tiles, ornate plasterwork, polychromatic stonework, stone monuments and vaulting create a stunning and rare visual effect.
Sources: “Monkstown Parish Church: An Architectural Landmark,” pamphlet
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