ST PAUL'S CHURCH, PAUL STREET, CITY OF CORK



by Mike Stewart.
Overview.

St. Paul's Church Yard - Burial Ground; Crypt.

Location of the Parish Registers and other Parish records.

Rectors and Curates of St. Paul's with biographical notes.

Minutiae.

Bibliography


St Paul's Church from the rear.
August 2013
Click to enlarge the photograph.



THE BUILDING OF ST PAUL'S CHURCH

1723 September 7: An order in Council was passed for dividing the parish of St. Mary, Shandon, and erecting a new parish of St. Paul. (Brady, I, 285)

Taken from Richard Caulfield's 'Council Book of the Corporation of Cork from 1609 to 1643'. Guilford Surrey: J. Billings & Sons. 1876:

'1723 July 8: That the sum of 100 which is to be paid towards the building of S. Paul's Church, by a former order, be paid as soon as convenient. (p.430)

1724/5 March 8: and 100 be paid 2 May, 1727, to the Overseers for building S. Paul's Church on the Marsh. (p.451)

1726, October 17: Robert Atkins, Esq., Mayor. That a further sum of 100 towards finishing S. Paul's Church be paid 1 May 1728, to Ald. Ab. French and Mr. Sherriff Jackson. (p.466)

1729, April 21: That a Corporation Gallery be made in S. Paul's Church, and that Ald. Bennett, Cramer, Mr. Allen, Croker and Bridges be Overseers. (p.483)

1762, 21 August: That the Corporation Gallery in St. Paul's Church be painted and that Mr. C.S. do oversee same. (p.764)

1762, 1 December: [that] 21 0s. 6 1/2d [be paid] to C.S. expenses of painting Corporation's Gallery in S. Paul's Church. (p.767)

1775, 14 August: That the Iron rails belonging to Mr. Butler's House be given to the Parish of S. Paul, to ornament the Church and Church-yard. (p.902)'


St. Paul's Church located on Paul Street at Harper's Lane, 1750
(Smith. 'A Plan of the City of Cork in the year of 1750.'
Cork City Council.
Click to enlarge the photo.

SOME DESCRIPTIONS OF ST PAUL'S

Taken from J. Coleman's (ed) 'Windele's Cork: Historical and Descriptive Writings of Cork from its Foundation to the Middle of the Nineteenth Century'. By John Windle. Cork: Guy, 1910:
'The church of St. Paul's, as well as the parish of the same name, are modern, consequent upon the growth of the City, eastward of the city-wall, after the revolution, when the east marsh, and part of Dunscomb's-marsh, were formed into 'St. Paul's Parish'. The church was built in 1723; it is an oblong building, without tower or spire, and of very homely appearance. The burial ground in front, is remarkable for the number of sea-faring people interred there. The inscriptions on the tomb stones are generally very characteristic.'
Taken from Charles Bernard Gibson's 'The History of the County & City of Cork', Vol. 2, 1861, p.317:
'Public Buildings. Between Patrick Street and Paul Street-on the site of the old Carey's Lane chapel-the Rev. Canon Murphy is building a beautiful Catholic church, the finest ecclesiastical structure in the city; but one which will be completely shut in from public view. It may be admired from the back windows of Patrick or Paul Streets, like a beautiful bulb or root which has grown up and shot out graceful tendrils in a glass bottle. But the wonder by-and-bye will be, how it got there. And there, we suspect, it must remain, like 'the Prison Flower,' or a cloistered and veiled nun. The only means we can imagine of liberating this fair vestal is by removing the eastern side of that dirty narrow lane* called Paul Street. But where shall we find a Cork knight with the chivalry to propose any thing so daring or so grand to the corporation, although it would bring the church of St. Paul out of the mire. It was the corporation that made the original grant of the site of St. Paul's Church to the Right Rev. Peter Brown, the Protestant Bishop of Cork from 1709 to 1735. *This dirty narrow lane was at one time a highly fashionable locality. MY friend Richard Dowden (Richard), Esquire, informs me, that Brown Street-which makes a right-angle with it-was considered 'one of the genteelest streets in Cork.'
Taken from 'Encyclopedia Britannica', Vol. IV, 1878, p.405:
'Cork. Churches: there are 8 Protestant churches, including the cathedral. St. Luke's has lately been separated from St. Ann de Shandon. The principal church is the new Protestant Cathedral, the foundation stone of which was laid, 12th January 1865. It succeeds a rather mean building, the foundation stone which was laid in 1735 on the site of a very ancient cathedral which suffered during the siege of Cork in September 1689-90. The other Protestant churches are extremely poor externally, except St. Nicholas and St. Luke's; the later is a neat structure on the high ground north-east of the city.'
Taken from Charles A. Webster's 'The Diocese of Cork', 1920 p. 156:
'THE CHURCH OF ST. PAUL: The parish of St. Mary Shandon being of considerable extent, and the number of church people having greatly increased at the beginning of the eighteenth century, it was decided to built two new churches in Cork. One was to be erected on the north-east Marsh, the other on the site occupied by the original parish Church of St. Mary. The inhabitants of St. Mary's parish, and 'other well disposed persons,' subscribed 1,879 towards this object, and the Corporation made a grant of a piece of ground to Bishop Peter Browne in 1723 on which St. Paul's Church was built. The same body also voted 300 towards the project, and the church was finished with the aid of the tax levied on coal and culm by Act of Parliament. The north-east Marsh which belonged to the parish of St. Mary Shandon, and Dunscombe's Marsh, which formed part of the parish of the Holy Trinity, were constituted a parochial area for the new church.'
Taken from 'Journal of Cork Historical And Archaeological Society', Vol. XLVIII, No. 167, Jan - June 1943. p.32:
'St. Paul's Church: One of the churches built in 1723 when the city had spread beyond the old walls. It is erected on ground presented to Bishop Peter Browne by the Corporation, and contributions were also made by that body. A remarkable feature is the number of seafaring men who have been buried in the graveyard. This is due to the fact that the Mayor etc. by presenting an extra plot of ground, were given the right of granting free burial to any stranger dying within the parish, which was then centre of local shipping. The building is Grecian in style and is not very attractive externally, but the interior is really beautiful. The stucco-work on the ceiling is worthy of notice: it is said to be the work of Italian prisoners taken during the Napoleonic Wars. The stained glass in the east window depicting the last supper is a gem of its kind. The old parish stocks are preserved in the vestry.'
Taken from 'The Journal of Cork Historical And Archaeological Society', Vol. XLVIII, No. 167, Jan - June 1943, p49:
'The Stocks at St. Paul's, Cork. Most probably the stocks preserved in the vaults of St. Paul's Cork, were originally from the market place, which was adjoining. They are of a similar date to the Kinsale Stocks [1729 or subsequent ones that replaced these].' P.G. Lee

Stocks at St. Paul's Church, Cork.
(Photo by Dr. P.G. Lee, JCH&AS, Vol. XXXIII, 1928)
Click to enlarge the photo.



The same entrance to St Paul's church in August 2013
Click to enlarge the photograph.



Taken from 'North Gate Supplement', [Evening Echo: Cork] 3rd June 1987, p.4 - Richard Cooke:
'St. Paul's Church: Situated on this street is one of the few well-preserved early 18th century buildings which have survived to the present day in the city. Before it was deconsecrated in 1949-50, St. Paul's Church (Church of Ireland) was one of the most important parish churches in Old Cork.

It was built in consequence of the rapid development of the city east of the city wall. In 1726, the parish of St. Paul's was created from the districts of the East Marsh in the parish of St. Mary's Shandon, and part of Dunscombe Marsh in the parish of Christ Church. The church was erected by public subscription and is of homely appearance with neither tower nor spire. The building is now utilized as a factory, the property of Guy's Printers.

The first divine service was celebrated by the Rev. Edward Sampson, on October 9, on the year that the parish was created. The interior of the church had it ceiling done in Stucco, some of which can still be seen today. It had a handsomely carved gallery, with other galleries parallel to it, and also a double range of pews, nicely laid out with a fine plain altar-piece.'

FLOOR PLANS


St. Paul's Church: Plan of Church (McNamara, 1981)
Click to enlarge the photo.


The Representative Church Body in Dublin holds survey drawings of the church executed by James Pain, architect for the Board of First Fruits, c. 1830, that show the old triple-decker pulpit and box pew layout. It also holds portfolio drawings executed in 1866 by Welland and Gillespie that show a newer pew layout.


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