The only known photograph of the interior of the old Capuchin Chapel on Church Street
Print by Chancellor Studios, 55 Lower Sackville Street, Dublin
The only surviving photographic print of the interior of the old Capuchin Chapel on Church Street constructed in 1796. This small chapel consisted of a Nave with two short Transepts. The main entrance to the Church was from Bow Street which was then a busy thoroughfare near Smithfield market. The ‘Irish Catholic Directory’ of 1836 describes the Church thus:
‘The Capuchin Friary, better known by the appellation of Church Street Chapel, is situated on the west side of the street and not far from Michan’s Church. The Friary attached to this Church affords accommodation for seven or eight clergymen for whom there is ample employment in this poor but extremely populous part of Dublin. … The building itself possesses no remarkable features and was for a long period of time in a state of dilapidation …’.
By the mid-nineteenth century the Church was in complete disrepair. In December 1862 Fr. Lawrence Gallerani, the Italian-born Commissionary General for Irish Capuchins, referred to the ‘ruinous state’ of the old church and explained how he had asked ‘professional men to inspect the Church’ who informed him that ‘if it were not rebuilt its tottering walls would cause the death of the faithful who attended it’. The foundation stone for the present-day St. Mary of the Angels was laid on 12 June 1868. Its formal dedication took place on 4 October 1882, the seventh centenary of the birth of St. Francis.