Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Our Heritage in Stone - St Mary's Church of Ireland

One of the oldest stone structures in Dungarvan is the old gable wall in the cemetery which has fascinated locals and visitors to Dungarvan for centuries.  In the 19th century and before people speculated that it was the ruin of a lighthouse or a sun worshipping temple.  It is in fact the remains of the pre-Reformation church of St Mary the Virgin records of which go back to the 1300s.  The most distinctive feature are the circular windows which are wider on the inside and on the outside face of the wall there are decorative sandstone surrounds which may be of Dundry stone from the Bristol area.

The present church designed by James Pain c. 1835 is constructed predominantly of limestone with sandstone blocks which may be reused stone from the 18th century church on the site.   On one of the walls is a sandstone plaque inscribed: ‘J.H. & B.B. C.W. 1827’.   It commemorates John Hudson and Beresford Boate, Church Wardens.  This may refer to an upgrading of the earlier church.  An extension was added to the east end in 1903. This was executed in limestone in a more regular manner.

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