Records of the Church of St Mary's Shandon, City of Cork.

Quote from "The Ancient And Present State of the County and City of Cork" by Charles Smith 1750:

"The church and parish of Saint Mary Shandon, with that of St Catherine annexed, which last has been long since demolished, are in the N. suburbs. This church had the additional name of Shandon, being erected near Shandon Castle, to distinguish it from St Mary de Narde, which stood on the S. side of the river, where the old barrack now stands.

Over the W. Door of this church, on a stone, is this inscription in gold letters.

Ad Edificandum Templum
Hoc Quantulum est Agri Donum
Parochiae Sanctae Mariae de Shandon
Dedit Nobiliffimus Dominus,
Henricus vicecomes Sydney
Hyberniae Prorex
Cujus Memoriae in Aeternum floreat."

(dated 1693)

This is a neat parish church with two windows in the east end, good pews, galleries, etc. Here are early service and Sacrament the second Sunday every month.

Notes by W. A. Copinger B.L. LL.D. F.S.A. in the 1893 edition of Charles Smith above:
"St Mary Shandon: In the spring of 1864 a movement was made to rebuild this church. It was also proposed to remove the site to a more eligible situation. The last sermon was preached at this church on Monday evening, July 7th, 1879, by the Rev. John Quarry, p.p., whose father was a former rector of the church, and of which the preacher was once curate; and on July 8th the new church of S. Mary Shandon was consecrated by Dr Gregg, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Roc. Dr Quarry has purchased the pulpit of S. Mary Shandon for his church at Donoghmore."

April 1880 when the church of St Mary Shandon was taken down, on excavating the piers under the flooring, two stones were found with the following letters in relief:
A M - H V

Notes from "Annals of St Mary Shandon, Cork"compiled from Parish Registers and ch warden accounts by Richard Caulfield LLD FSA Sept 10, 1872:
Church Plate held by the Parish of St Mary Shandon and seen by Richard Caulfield at the parish church at Sunday's Wells in May 1889, at the invitation of the Rev. Canon Powell, rector of St Mary Shandon:
1. A small chalice and paten-on-foot that forms a cover without any marks. It had a double inscription encircling the cup upon a double fillet, one being the continuation of the other:- "This cup was given to the Church of St Mary Shandon, without Corke, the Yeare 1627, by Margerie, the wife of Thomas Huet." 2. A larger chalice and paten inscribed: - "The Gift of Ellen Taylor to the Church of St Mary Shandon, 1688."
At the time the Guild of Goldsmiths was formed, and this cup has the mark in a rose-shaped stamp of "R.S." for Richard Smart, who was master of the guild in 1676, with the maker's mark. It also bears two castles, the old town marks of Cork plate.
3. Two flagons inscribed: "Deo. D. D. Rector Et Parochiani Ecclesia St Marie Des Shandon, in Civitat. Corcag. and in usum Eccles. Predict. 24 Decembris, 1713."

Vestry 1672:
Thos Goodman
Philip Mathews
Noblet Dunscombe
Tho Farren
James Hinch
Pat. Ronayne
Tho. Willes
Wm Mallowbourne
Ja Harris
Wa Crompton
John Weekes
Richard Wallis
Jno Taylor
Walter Andrews
Wm Snary
Christopher Crofts
Rbt Rogers
Edward Hore
Martin Boobier
Edward House
John Morley
Nicholas Hubbard

1682: Setting out of the seats in the body of the church and south Ile by the minister and church wardens and parishioners the 20 August 1682 according to the numbers as follows:
No 1 Roger Ostine, Samuel Thirlsby, William Haslop
No 2 Wm Cowell, Jno Taylor, Wm Taylor
No 3 Jno Bonman, Jno Manning, Arthur Atwell
No 4 Petter Smart, Laurence Hooper
No 5 Richard Deane
No 6 Joseph Haddock, John Hawkins
No 7 Mrs Edwards, Mrs Taylor, Rob Webb
No 8 Robert Rogers
No 9 Cooke
No 10 Aldm Noblett Dunscombe
No 11 Garrald, Christo Roberts
No 12 John Norey
No 23 The Minister, Mr Crofts, Mr Goodman
No 24 Widdow Hull
No 25 Richard Johnson, Robert Easington No 26 John Cooker, John Givins, Nich. Haydon
No 27 Ald. James Hinck, Nicholas Greene, Mr Gwine
No 28 Jno Harris
No 29 Jno Weekes
No 30 Edward House
No 31 Jno Spreed
No 32 Jno Hall, Morgan
No 39 Ald. Richard Covert
No 40 Mrs Farren
No 41 Mr Murphy
No 42 Tim Healy, Abra. Sherwell
No 43 Tho. Millard Senr, Hugh Millard, Corp. Britton
No 44 Thomas O'Shie, Edward Williams, Peter Lethum
No 45 William Eason, Arthur Eason
No 46 Robert Spencer
No 47 Tho. Pitts, Christo Forward
No 48 Edward Kent, George Williams, William Wooldridge
No 49 Jno Harris, Jno Hamlyne

Walter Neale, Rector and Vicar

Notes from Historical and Descriptive Notices of Cork" by J. Windell 2nd edition Cork 1843:

This building (St Ann's Shandon) stands a little west of the site of the old church of our Lady, or St. Mary-Shandon, which was destroyed at the burning of the suburbs in the siege of 1690; - the new church of St Mary having been subsequently built at a different situation, in the same neighbourhood. Previously to that date, the now parishes of St Ann and St Mary formed but one - the Parish of Shandon.
St Mary-Shandon, situate in Shandon-street, was built in 1693, on ground given by Henry, Lord Sydney. It is a plain but comfortable church. Its patrons were the Earls of Kildare and Barrymore, now represented by the Duke of Leinster and the Rev. Robert Longfield. The living is a union of old date, of the parishes of St Mary and St Catherine. In 1798, the body of the Rev. Mr. M'Daniel, who had been formerly Chaplain of the City Gaol, was found, after an internment of thirty years, in one of the vaults of this church, in perfect preservation; the coffin having fallen to pieces. His body was somewhat the colour of bogwood, and was perfectly dry and smooth. He is said to have been a hard liver."

Notes from Thomas Crofton Croker FSA on rebuilding the church:
"The present church of St Mary Shandon stands on a piece of ground granted to Walter Neal, rector and vicar of the parish, by Henry Lord Viscount Sidney, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the year 1693, by indenture bearing the same date. The instrument states to the following effect:- That whereas the church of St Mary Shandon was defaced, razed and demolished by the Irish and continueth unbuilt, so that there wanteth a church for the Protestants of said parish to assemble themselves in, to hear divine service celebrated. And whereas, the place where the former parish church stood lyeth so near and contiguous to the castle called Shandon, and toucheth so on the fortifications near the same, that they on building the church on the ground where it formerly stood may be a predudice to Her Majesty's said castle and fortifications, and may hereafter be made use of against them by foreign enemies or intestine rebels, for prevention whereof, and of danger to which the said church, if built in the same place as formerly, may in all likelihood be hereafter exposed in times of trouble, of being defaced and demolished, to the great offence of all well-minded and religious worshippers of God. Therefore, and at the earnest desire of the said Walter Neal and other Protestant inhabitants of said parish of Shandon, and for the honour of Almighty God, the said Lord Viscount Sidney doth grant unto the said Walter Neal, clerk, vicar of the parish of St Mary Shandon, all that and those, a garden or parcel of land on the east side of Mallow street, together with two houses, and out-house and backside tenements belonging, and all and singular the houses and tenements thereon built, now or late in the tenure and occupation of Thomas Austin and others, which said premises being heretofore the estate of Ignatious Goold, late of said city of Cork, merchant, and by him forfeited to the Crown of England on account of the late rebellion of this kingdom, etc., etc."
In consequence of the above grant the present church of St Mary Shandon was built on the ground so granted in 1693. This church, from its close proximity to St Anne Shandon, was taken down in the year 1879, and a new and handsome church was built at Sunday's Well for the greater convenience of the parishioners, whose homes are situated in this picturesque suburb of the city.

Collected and received in ye parish of St Mary Shandon Corke upon receipt of a brief being dated April 17 1699 for ye relief of ye Vaudoiy and other Protestant refugees ye sum of seventy one pounds 12 shillings and three pence. Witnesse our hands this present 25 day of June 1699.

Walter Neal, Rect. and Vic.
Edmund Knapp + N. Masters, church wardens.

Mr Peter Cooke gave since 00.13.00.

Note: This refers to the relief of the Vaudois (Protestants living in the Swiss Alpine region) who were persecuted from 1698 - 1699, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. These persecutions had been going on since early in the century in France and throughout the continent and resulted in waves of Protestant (Huguenot) refugees arriving in Cork during the 17th century.

The following 30 were chosen by the minister and church wardens of the parish of St Mary Shandon Nov 7 1704 as standing vestry for said parish, any five of them with the minister and both or one church warden for the time being to form a quorum.
Mr Alderman Christopher Crofts
Ald. Edmond Knapp
Mr Nicholas Hubbard
Abraham Morris
Henry Lumly
Noblett Rogers
Thomas Newenham
John Spread
Warham Jemmat
Thomas Brown
Edward Brown
Wm Masters
Joseph Franklyn
James Morrison
Hugh Millar
John Taylor
Jospeh Ruddock
Wm Cockerell
Jno Flemming
Godwyn Swift
Thomas Austin
John Hamlay
Joseph Hamley
James Kingston
Daniel Perdreau
George Pearcy
Hugh Hovell
Jonathan Perry
Daniel Pearse
Francis Mansfield
Wm Pope

Church Wardens
1705 Aug 30 Mr Thomas Browne + Mr Noblett Rogers
1706 Oct 24 Mr Noblett Rogers being chosen Sherriff for the City, the parish nominate Mr James Morrison church warden in his room.
1707 Mr Daniel Thresher + Benjamin Winthrop
1710 James Kingston + John Smith
1711 Wm Pope + John Flemmyng
1712 Richard Croker + Thomas Eason
1713 Wm Hales + Wm Roberts
1714 Edwd Briggs + Will Parmee


Ald. Noblett Dunscombe left by his will 60-0-0 to the poor of the Parish. His son Captn Wm Dunscombe has confirmed.
Thomas Newenham Gent 12 00
Ald Christopher Crofts 20.0.0


'The Green Coat Hospital was built on a waste piece of ground adjoining the old church-yard, where the old parish church formerly stood, till it was demolished in the late wars. This ground was presented by the Reverend Dr Henry Maule, then incumbant of the parish of St Mary Shandon, to whom it belonged.' From The County and City of Cork Remembrancer or Annals of the County and City of Cork. Francis H. Tuckey. Cork 1837.

Location of the Parish Registers for St Mary Shandon

8 volumes of parish registers for St Mary Shandon were destroyed in the fire in the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922.
This comprised Baptisms (1665 - 1880), Marriages (1669 - 1848) and Burials (1671 - 1872). Also destroyed in the 1922 fire were the Vestry Minutes (1681 - 1720.)
There survives one book of transcriptions entitled 'Annals of the Parish of St Mary Shandon, Cork" compiled by Richard Caulfield from the parish records (1672 - 1846.) This is presently held by the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin (Reference #702).

The Vaults under the Church of St Mary Shandon, Cork.

On Saturday September 13, 1879, Richard Caulfield, together with Will H. Hill, Architect and William Atkins examined and measured the vaults beneath St Mary Shandon, just prior to the final demolision of the church. They produced the following plan of the vaults, taken from the 1893 edition of 'The Ancient And Present State of the County and City of Cork' by Charles Smith 1750.
They identified the tombs of the following families in the vaults:
The family vault of Willm W. Deeble
The family vault of Edmond Knapp, Esq.
Cork Hoare
The family vault of the Lawrence family.
"This is the burying place of Edward Creed of Blarney Lane Chandler and Family A.D. 1781."
Westropp and Dunscombe
Pearse, Esq
The Rogers Family
As well as many unidentified coffins and remains.

Plan of the Vaults beneath St Mary Shandon 1879
Click to enlarge photo.


The Representative Church Body Library in Dublin


The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Cork containing a Natural, Civil, Ecclesiastical, Historical, and Topographical Description Thereof." By Charles Smith. 1750. Reprinted by the Cork Historical and Archeological Society with the Addition of Numerous Original Notes etc. from the MSS of the late Thomas Crofton Croker F.S.A. and Richard Caulfield, LL.D. Edited by Robert Day and W. A. Copinger. Published by Guy and Co., Cork 1893.

The Life of Dr Richard Caulfield: Antiquarian, Scholar and Academic J. P. McCarthy. Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol XCII, No. 251, January-December 1987