Architectural Drawings of St Peter's Church Through the Ages.


An early drawing of St Peters church on North Main Street.
Taken from The Pacata Hibernia plan of Cork drawn in the 1580s.

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This drawing from the 1610 map of Corke by John Speed
shows St Peters (2) with a square tower, well back from
North Main Street and with a large churchyard.
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St Peter's Parish 1750 from Charles Smith's map of Cork City published in his book.
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It is known that there has been a church on this spot since the 12th century. It was probably larger and more imposing than the present structure and may have had two side chapels. This church stood until the 1780s when it was rebuilt. (For more details about the 1780 reconstruction of the church, see Notes on the building of St Peter's Church.)
All of the above sketches of St Peter's were drawn before the reconstruction of the church was carried out in 1780. Since each of the three sketches of St Peter's Church above look quite different,it is likely that considerable reconstruction occurred even prior to that recorded in 1750 - 1780. The City of Cork lies on a light sandy foundation and consequently stone buildings do not fare well. The weight of stone sinks into the soft foundation, causing the stone to crack, the walls to bend, towers to topple, all of which invariably led to the parishioners deciding that the church was in a dangerous condition and needed urgent repairs.

Nineteenth Century Drawings of St Peter's Church, City of Cork, by James Pain .
The three drawings are undated but must have been drawn sometime between 1811 and 1877.

Photograph copyright Representative Church Body Library, Dublin.
East Door of St Peters shown without the present tower.

Photograph copyright Representative Church Body Library, Dublin.
The interior of St Peters showing the alter, pulpit and seating arrangements, both on the ground floor and balcony.

Photograph copyright Representative Church Body Library, Dublin.
The church and churchyard of St Peters showing that the nineteenth century
church was built right up to the edge of St Peter's Church lane as it is today.
The schoolhouse building shown in this plan still stands today between the church and the churchyard.
The above are from Architectural Drawings by James Pain, Reference 138, Representative Church Body Library, Dublin. Used with permission.

James Pain (1779 - 1877) was born in England and came to Ireland with his brother George R. Pain in 1811. The two brothers were distinguished architects and built a number of churches, houses and public buildings in County Cork. Structures they built included Mitchelstown Castle, Cork Court-house and the County Gaol and Dromoland Castle. He produced a sketch book of architectural drawings of the churches of Ireland which is now in the collection of The Representative Church Body Library, Dublin.