Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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St Augustine’s Church


St Augustine’s Church

On 19 October 1818 Bishop Robert Walsh granted permission to the Augustinians to build a new chapel in what was then known as Clubbert’s Lane. Work commenced in 1823 when Father John Wall was Prior. The building was completed in 1824. It was not as tall as the present building and had a thatched roof and no bell tower. There is a sandstone water font by the entrance dated 1820 and this is probably from their previous temporary church which was sited behind Merry’s Pub in Lower Main Street. Over the font is a piece of limestone window tracery which is probably from the old Augustinian priory in Abbeyside. The church did not open for worship until 1829 due to a dispute with the bishop.

On 5 August 1859 the Cork Examiner published the following report:

‘Rev Patrick Toomey gratefully acknowledges the generous aid afforded him by Lord Stuart de Decies, in granting leave to raise stones on his property, on the Slieve Grine Mountains, for the erection of the ‘Angelus Tower’  now being completed in front of his church’.

The tower is a prominent feature of the church with its battlemented parapet and attractive warm sandstone colour. The builder of the tower, Father Toomey, is commemorated on a white marble slab in a ground floor archway. The pillars of the entrance gate are of the same stone with limestone caps. There is a second sandstone font to the right of the tower of a simple design. To the left of the tower on the wall of an extension to the church is a limestone plaque erected in 1947 recording the restoration of the building and the new Boy’s Chapel. This catered for the students from the nearby Augustinian College.

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