reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:22 pm

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and St. Patrick's Rock, Cashel
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:06 pm

Old engraving of Rock of Cashel
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby anto » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:02 pm

That's not St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick but Mary's RC Chrurch. They're quite close to each other.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:23 pm

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Sorry Anto, my mistake.
Is this the right one?
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby jimg » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:46 pm

That looks more like it but it's hard to tell from the angle. Here's an older picture of it:
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:54 pm

Re posting # 177:

The engraver of this print of the Rock of Cashel is probably Bartlett and was done about 1840. It has been tinctured to heighten the romantic atmosphere.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby anto » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:57 pm

Gianlorenzo wrote:Image
Sorry Anto, my mistake.
Is this the right one?



Yeah, that's the one!
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:11 pm

William Henry Bartlett's (1809-1854) series of prints appeared in The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland . I have scanned a few of his steel engravings of the lupi in fabula!


The view of Cobh was engraved almost twenty years before the building of the Cathedral.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:27 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:
One niggly thing that's always annoyed me about the Pro is the little circles with gold crosses painted on them half-way up every column. They look finicky and inappropriate, an unnecessary detail so typical of Catholic churches - features that are for the most part appealing in a strange way - but here they detract from the power and drama of the columns, especially around the sanctuary.
It is the bold architecture of the Pro-Cathedral that makes it what it is - there is no need for applied decoration.


Found this print of the Pro Cathedral interior from the Lawrence collection. The little circles with gold crosses don't appear in this.
Neither are they apparent in Sir John Lavery's painting of the Funeral of General Michael Collins, August 1922.
Also attached 'Lying-in-State of Daniel O'Connell in St. Mary's Metropotian Chapel, Marlborough Street (Illustrated London News 1847)
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:21 pm

Re posting #103

Further to comments on the unfortunate re-ordering of Thurles Metropolitan Cathedral carried out in 1979, I enclose a photograph of the High Altar of St. Francis Xavier's church in Gardnier St., Dublin which was built in Rome in 1838 to designs drawn up by Fr. Bartholomew Esmond, S.J.. The Altar incorporates several very rare marbles including an antique porphyry from Nero's Domus Aurea (originally in the Basilica of St. Paul and salvaged from the fire of 1823), yellow jasper, malachite, and lapis lazuli. On completion, it was dimantled and shipped to Dublin and re-erected in Gardnier St. c. 1842. The altar of the Gesù , mother house of the Jeuits in Rome, may have served as a model for the Gardnier St. Altar. It affords some idea of what Giacomo della Porta's altar would have looked like in Thurles before it was torn to bits.


(cf. Irish Arts Review, vol. 14, 1998, Maureen Ryan, Roman Opulence in a Dublin Church , pp.33-39)
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:22 pm

Finally, I have located some photographs of the original interior of the Pro-Cathedral with Peter Turnerelli's High Altar as intended by the artist. I think the occasion in question was the consecration of Archbishop McQuaid in 1942.

Closer inspection of the photograph will explain why the Ciborium, in its current form, looks wrong. It is wrong because it is an ungainly malformation. Professor O'Neill, in his devastating reordering, capped the original Ciborium with the canopy used for the crucifix (which, as can be seen from the photograph, was above the Ciborium). Clearly, had the Ciborium been retained in tact, the problem of the focal void would have been greater. In a brutal attempt to disguise this problem, even the Ciborium of Turnerelli's Altar had to be jack-hammered.

The Ciborium had its own smaller domed finial (as is clear in the photograph). What now sits in the sanctuary of the Pro-Cathedral is merely an assemblage of bits and pieces.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Boyler » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:12 pm

Does anyone know if the frescos in Cashel are going to be restored?
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:40 pm

Praxiteles wrote:This attachment contains a scan of G. C. Ashlin's drawing for the Baptismal Font. The cover was not executed as planned.


Ashlin's Design.
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Baptismal Font.
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Base by Luigi Tomasi of Carrera and the brass cover by Mr. Kane, brass-worker, Dublin.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:46 pm

Dear Boyler,

It appears that a further round of restoration work was carried out in Thurles in 2003 but no mention was made of frescos. The following may be of interest:


http://www.catholiccommunications.ie/Pressrel/architectsreportthurlescathedral.html
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:59 pm

A fuller picture of the 2003 restoration work is available here:


http://www.catholiccommunications.ie/Pressrel/3b-october-2003.html
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:06 am

Does anybody know who the architects for the 1979 reordering of Thurles Cathedral were?
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:33 am

Images of Thurles Cathedral of the Assumption.

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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Boyler » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:36 am

Thanks Praxiteles, but I was wondering about the medieval frescos as seen in the pictures of the Rock of Cashel. It doesn't seem like the centuries have been good to them. sorry for not making myself clear :o
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:05 am

Enclosed is a photograph of the Ciborium of the High Altar in Thurles, designed and executed by Giacomo della Porta in 1584 for the Gesù in Rome. The Altar was commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, nephew of Pope Paul III. Della Porta was the dominant architect in Rome for the last quarter of the 16th century and worked on all the major commissions in the City, most notably the building of the dome of St. Peter's between 1588 and 1590. He completed the project in 1602 by adding the lantern. He was a highly practical architect and influenced by Michelangelo's mannerism and Vignola's classicism.

The Ciborium is made up of a variety of antique marbles that includes giallo antico, roso antico and africano.

The mensa of the altar is of white carrara marble inlaid with malachite, lapis lazuli, rosso agate and other semi-precious materials. It has an arcaded praedella of 16 columns of which 6 are in yellow Siena, 6 in griotte, and 4 in vert campan. All columns have bases and capitals in bronze.

As with the reordering in the Pro-Cathedral, the Ciborium was removed from the High Altar and placed on a disproportioned plinth while the Altar mena was moved forward into the chancel. The sum total of the effect was to create a focal void in the sanctuary.

It is worth wondering whether Cashel followed the Pro-Cathedral or vice versa. Certainly, the designs for the reordering are remarkably similar. The idea of trying to improve on Turnerelli is, however, surpassed in Cashel with the absurd prospect of someone trying to "improve" on one of the great master of European civilization.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:08 am

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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:17 am

Dear Boyler,

Not to worry. You may be interested in an article on the frescos in Cormac's Chapel published in The Irish Arts Review Yearbook, vol 18 [2002], pp. 25-29 by Roger Stalley. A fragmentary inscription ite et interrogate diligenter de puero, ironically quoting Herod's words to the Wise Men, seems to suggest that the frescos depicted the nativity cycle and especially the Three Kings - a theme appropriate to Royal cashel.

I have no idea of what the official guardians of Irish heritage intend to do with the Chapel and its frescos. The last time I visited Cashel, I was subjected to the ahistorical twaddle of an official guide who knew next to nothing of the place.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:21 am

My God! Thurles is far worse than I thought.

The inscription over the chancel arch is certainly an erratic and ironic survival at this point.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Gianlorenzo » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:50 am

Been looking at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. I love it and I notice that the power that be in the Cathedral feel no need to re-order to introduce inappropriate additions.

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I am a sucker for the flags. ;)

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Nice angle
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:55 am

The foregoing pictures of Thurles Cathedral show only too well the vairous petit obsessions that the Liturgical Commission of the Irish Episcopal Conference has gone through over the past twenty years.

In the mid 1990s, the great discovery was the ambry. Hence, we have the Holy Oils now hawked about in several Cathedrals thoughout Ireland in a wide ranging series of eccentric compositions.

Enniscorthy chose to locate them high up on a bracket in the wall of the North transept. Most inappropriately, they are housed in a Victorian Tantulus.

Cashel seems to have gone for another spirited theme: the guarded liquids.

Surprisingly, none of the liturgists seems to have been aware that the Holy Oils are to be veiled in cloths of three different colours.

I would suggest that a visit to the Armenian Catholicos at Ekmiadzin in Armenia would teach the Archbishop of Cashel a thing or two on the proper reservation of the Holy Oils.
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Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals - St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Postby MacLeinin » Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:18 am

Paul Clerkin wrote:I think this is most of the Irish ones that I have photos of....


Great photos - I particularly like the doors, though I am not sure what is going on in St. Anne's Belfast, is that glass inside the doors?

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St. Canice's Kilkenny
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St. Mary's Limerick
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St. John's Limerick
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St. Patrick's Armagh Church of Ireland
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St. Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Armagh
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St.Finn Barre's Cork.
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St. Anne's Belfast
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