Why Nenagh – Church Architecture

Old Church of IrelandOld Church of Ireland

Welcome back to my weekly post: Why Nenagh! This week is going to be a predominantly a picture Posting, because quite simply I think these pictures can tell their own story. I’m looking at the two main churches of Nenagh town, because I reckon the buildings themselves are fantastic and to be able to visit them and to take in their surroundings is another reason to visit Nenagh town. First up is the old Church of Ireland. It is situated at the end of Kenyon/Barrack Street, with the square tower dominating that area of the town. According to the Ormond Historical Society, there are records of a church on this site going back to 1615. This square tower was added to an existing building in 1760 and a new church was added in 1809. This remained the Church of Ireland place of worship until a brand new building was erected in 1860 on a new site at what is now known as Church Road. (Since we have already discussed about Nenagh being a town where the streets have more names, does anyone know of another name for this road?)

Old Pic of Nenagh COI Exterior of Nenagh COI Interior towards altar of Nenagh COI Interior towards rear of Nenagh COI Interior commenorations in Nenagh COI

The existing Church of Ireland rests nicely along Church Road, with the Nenagh Castle and the Roman Catholic Church situated alongside.

And so to St Mary of the Rosary Church in Nenagh town. Although there exists a second Roman Catholic Church in the town that is situated behind the hospital, there really is no comparison with regards their standard of architecture. St Mary’s was built in 1895 and the architect was Walter G Doolin.

Old Church Interior13 Old Church Exterior1Old Church Interior12  Church Interior10 Church Interior5 Church Interior7 Church Interior8 Church Interior9 Church Interior3 Church Interior2 Church Interior2 Church Exterior 1 Church Interior1 Design3 Design2 Design1  Church DoorwayChurch Tower2Church Tower

It was constructed by John Sisk and he used Lahorna stone and Portroe slate with the Portland stone of the arches being the only imported material that was used. Some examples of the designs that are found around the buildings itself can be seen in the some of the images that appear here. According to the Buildings of Ireland website, this church is a ‘detached cruciform-plan‘ church and it comprises of a gabled entrance front with corner turret and flanked by five-stage tower with spire to the south. The Buildings of Ireland report goes on to say that: ‘this church is an excellent example of large scale Gothic Revival architecture of the late-nineteenth century in Ireland. The exterior is notable for the finely-carved ashlar dressings, gargoyles and elaborate west-front doorway. The interior of the nave revives the quatrefoil columns found in some thirteenth-century Irish and English west country Gothic parish churches and its columns and pointed arches are of Portland stone. A series of fine mosaics executed by Oppenheim in 1911 culminate in the chancel of the church.”

ArdcroneyCOIArdcroney Church of Ireland

I couldn’t finish this post, without commenting on the fact that back in the 1990’s the Ardcroney Church of Ireland was taken apart brick by brick and rebuilt in Bunratty Folk Park – since seemingly this was done by numbering the bricks, I suppose this would have been some sort of a very intricate jig-saw puzzle. Anyways, if you do travel to Bunratty in the County of Clare, which is well worth a visit at any time of the year and it is about 45 minutes drive from Nenagh town, don’t forget when you view the small Church of Ireland, that it is an architectural delight from North Tipperary! Till next week so, when I will be looking at some of the fine draperies in Nenagh town.

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee

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Friday Facts

More Silent Film FactsI love silent film facts and I’ve found another minefield of them at the WordPress belonging to Fremont Libraries. Here’s some crackers, so do enjoy:

Rudolph ValentinoThe star of Rex Ingram‘s classic, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse, was Rudolph Valentino, of which was a fact that was previously covered on this Blogsite. However, what I didn’t know was that his christening name was ‘Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaelo Pierre Filibert di Valentina d’Antonguolla Guglielmi’. Now that’s a mouthful alright, but of course he was more well-known as ‘The Great Lover’. As we all know, Valentino died at a young age: 31 and his funeral was a spectacle of massive proportions. But here’s an interesting fact. Seemingly, legend has it that a mysterious Lady in Black still brings flowers to his grave every year on the anniversary of his death. Rumour has it that the current lady in black is not the original, but the identities of any of these Ladies in Black over the past 90 odd years has never been conclusively determined.

John BarrymoreOne of the great silent film actors of the day, John Barrymore was known “the Great Profile”. John was reluctant to enter the family-acting business. He actually wanted to be an artist and studied art in England to achieve that goal. He was a cartoonist for the New York Evening Journal. John Barrymore is known mostly for his portrayal of Hamlet and for his roles in movies like Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (1920), Grand Hotel (1932), Dinner at Eight (1933), Twentieth Century (1934), and Don Juan (1926), the first feature length movie to use a Vitaphone soundtrack.

Tom MixThomas Hezikiah Mix was one of the most famous of the silent film cowboys. He was well remembered for conducting his own stunts, for his lavish lifestyle, and what is claimed on the Wilkipedia website as the somewhat embroidered story of his past. One incident of his legacy states that when an injury caused football player John Wayne to drop out of USC, Mix helped him get a job moving props in the back lot of Fox Studios. Like his fellow actor, Ronald Reagan, John Wayne was hugely influenced by Tom Mix, and their acting styles as cowboys were said to be based on the silent film great.

Lillian GishBack during the silent-era, Lillian Gish was known as the ‘Iron Horse of Hollywood’, and although she appeared as a fragile creature on-screen, nothing could be further from the truth in reality. When she was four, she joined a traveling acting company to help support her family. At some stage, Mary Pickford introduced her, and her sister Dorothy, to D. W. Griffith. And so, another silent film legend began!

Theda BaraTheda Bara‘s (Theodosia Goodman) on-screen character was identified the world over as that of a ‘Vamp’. Her character was that of a wicked woman of exotic sexual appeal, who lured men into her web, only to ruin them. Although this image truly suited her character, much of her image and purported biography were created by the studio. It was popular during the silent-era to promote an actress as mysterious, with an exotic background. Bara was promoted by the studio with a massive publicity campaign, billing her as the Egyptian-born daughter of a French actress and an Italian sculptor. It was claimed that she had spent her early years in the Sahara Desert under the shadow of the Sphinx, before moving to France to become a stage actress. The truth of the matter was that Theda Bara had never been to Egypt or to France. She was called the Serpent of the Nile and she was encouraged to discuss mysticism and the occult when she was being interviewed. It is regarded by film historians that it was at this point that the birth of two Hollywood phenomena can be traced back to: the studio publicity department and the press agent, and so the great giant of Hollywood public relations was born.

PS: Don’t forget to click on the links for more info! See y’all next week.

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee

 

 

A Quote on Thursday

Singing in the Rain

Quote from Singing in the Rain:

Talkies will never last…..”

That’s what they said about the automobile….”

Sunset Boulevard

Quote from Sunset Boulevard:

You’re Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big.”
I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.

W. C. Fields

W. C. Fields:

The movie people would have nothing to do with me until they heard me speak in a Broadway play, then they all wanted to sign me for the silent movies.

Sunrise

James D’Arc:

Sunrise was one of the last silent films. And as much is proof of why so many filmmakers lamented the coming of sound. It is a lovely and very powerful picture and the power of fidelity in marriage.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert:
“The wonderment is that we still have the silent clowns, many now available in restored versions. Almost all of Keaton, of Lloyd, of Chaplin. They were artists who depended on silence, and sound was powerless to add a thing. They live in their time, and we must be willing to visit it. An inability to admire silent films, like a dislike of black and white, is a sad inadequacy. Those who dismiss such pleasures must have deficient imaginations.”

Gerald Mast

Gerald Mast:

The great silent movies revolve around the body and the personality of its owner; the great sound comedies revolve about structure and style–what happens, how it happens, and the way those happenings are depicted. Film comedy, as well as film art in general, was born from delight in physical movement. The essence of early filmmaking was to take some object (animate or inanimate) and simply watch it move…. The sound comedy is far more literary. Given the opportunity to use the essential tool of literature, words, as an intrinsic part of the film’s conception, the filmmaker did not hesitate to do so. In silent films, the use of words in titles was intrusive, a deliberate interruption of the cinematic medium and a substitution of the literary one. We stop looking and start reading. But the sound film provided the means to watch the action and listen to the words at the same time. Whereas the silent performer was a physical being,… the sound performer was both physical and intellectual at once.”

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee