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

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St. Patrick’s, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, by Jj. McCarthy (1870-1876), interior completed by CJ. McCarthy in 1889.

[Extract from J J McCarthy and the Gothic Revival in Ireland, by Jeanne Sheehy, published by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society in 1977.]

St Patrick’s, Dungannon

The church was begun about 1870, and by 1871 was well under way. The contractor was Mr. Thomas Byrne of Belfast. The building was dedicated on Trinity Sunday 1876. The interior,
however, remained unfinished, and the High Altar, reredos, side altars, and painted decoration were added, to the design of C.J.McCarthy (who succeeded to his father’s practice) about1889. The church was designed to accommodate about 4,000 persons.

St. Patrick’s is one of McCarthy’s ambitious town churches, not usually so successful as his smaller country ones. It has a nave with aisles, a chancel, eastern chapels, a sacristy at the south eastern corner, and a tower,whose base serves as a porch, in the north western corner.

The tower and spire are very tall, and dominate the building, which is fairly elaborate on the outside. The east end has two two-light windows, with a buttress between and a rose window above. There are buttresses clasping south corners of the east end, topped with pinnacles and crosses, and the sacristy, at the south-eastern corner, has a corner round tower with a conical cap. The west front, with a rose window set in a pointed frame, a canopied west doorway with a trumeau figure and carved tympanum, many buttresses, and the tall tower and spire, is no less elaborate.

Inside, the pointed nave arcade is carried on cylindrical pillars with carved capitals. The second capital on the south side represents earth, air, fire and water, and includes a monkey. There is an open timber roof, and no chancel arch.

The style is ‘French Gothic of the 13th century’ and the building material ‘the fine warm-coloured yellow sandstone of the district’ . This has been very roughly dressed for the outside walls, which, in combination with the quantity of ornament and carved detail, makes for a very fussy appearance.

Refs: RHA Catalogue 1870; Builder 4 March 1871, pp.166-67; Building News 23 June 1876, p.636; Irish Builder, 1 May 1889, p.115; UAHS Dungannon & Cookstown no.63, p.19.

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