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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB16/28/001 A

Extent of Listing:
Church, walling and gates

Date of Construction:
Pre 1600

Address :
St Patrick's Church (C of I) Church Street Newry Co Down BT34 2AH


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
26/02/1976 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:
266/7 NW

IG Ref:
J0900 2664

Owner Category

Church - C of I

Exterior Description And Setting

Nave church built in Newry granite on an imposing hilltop situation north of Church Street and east of High Street. Square tower abuts west end of nave. Transepts and apse have been added to east end. Surrounded by walled graveyard containing some monuments of note. Four stage tower wet dashed throughout except for squared granite rubble piers to the top two stages. All dressings and openings are of finely dressed granite. Three granite steps lead to front entrance on west elevation of tower. Doorway consists of a pair of painted t+g leaves below a modern obscured glass Gothic transom. This is set within a Gothic opening with a chamfered head and jambs, with label-stopped granite hood mould over. Modern metal handrail to right of door. The second stage of this elevation has a single cast iron lattice window set within a chamfered dressed Gothic headed opening. Immediately below cill is a metal light fitting with a modern globe. A splayed granite string course delineates the third stage. The walls of this stage and the one above are recessed slightly behind the corner piers. This stage contains a clock face set within a moulded granite diamond surround. The clock has a circular white face, black roman numerals, and black-painted decorative spandrels. A splayed string course delineates the fourth (belfry) stage. This panel contains a Y tracery timber louvre set within a tall lancet opening, in a chamfered dressed granite reveal. A splayed string course runs below the parapet which has gabled-coped and stepped crenellations. Each corner pier is surmounted by an oversailing pyramidal cap, over which is a pinnacle topped with a stone cross. Roof of tower (visible only from inside) is monopitched and slopes down towards the nave. The south face of the tower is identical to the west elevation but doorway is fronted by granite block paving and has no transom. The door has decorative strap hinges. The north face of the tower is identical to the west elevation, except there is no ground floor door and second stage opening is infilled with timber louvres. Metal down pipe from roof gutter on this face. On the east face, the fourth stage rises clear of the nave and is identical to that at west. The nave and transepts roofs are pitched; apse is hipped and finialed. All have natural slates, terracotta ridge tiles, granite coped verges and moulded kneelers. All rain water goods are half round metal. West gable of nave is almost completely occupied by tower. Exposed remaining portions are wet dashed, as is the rest of the building (unless otherwise stated). North elevation of church has transept. The nave wall to right of transept contains four Gothic headed openings with cast iron lattice windows (multi-coloured glass). Below the first window (from left) is a modern oil tank, and below the second window is a small granite wall with stone steps leading to a modern sheeted metal door to basement. Small metal gate at top of stairs. The north transept has a rendered chimney rising from centre of ridge, and a small granite ashlar finial, of square cross-section, at end of gable. Its walls are of unrendered granite rubble brought to courses. The gable has a large tracery window consisting of a cinquefoil window over three lancets (middle panel lower). Tracery and chamfered reveal are in sandstone, over which are granite voussoirs. Window is stained glass with transparent plastic security panel over. Right cheek contains a cast iron lattice window in a chamfered granite reveal. Window details as nave, with plastic panel over. Left cheek is partially abutted by a later extension. Above the extension is the infilled head of a window similar to that on right cheek. Remainder of wall is plain. Extension projects slightly beyond the north transept gable and contains vestry. It has a hipped natural slate roof with ogee cast metal rain water goods supported on granite brackets. Walls are of rubble as transept but heavily pointed in cement. On gable (east facing), three concrete steps (with steel handrail) lead to a t+g door (with fake strap hinges) set within a chamfered Tudor arched opening. Left cheek of return is plain. Right cheek has a single segmental-headed opening containing a margin-paned cast-iron lattice window (with metal grille over). Exposed section of gable wall to side of abutment to transept is blank. Apse walls are roughly squared granite rubble, with finely-dressed sandstone moulded cill course and quoins. There are four hood moulded Gothic openings to its east (middle) cant. Each contains a single stained glass window (protected by plastic panels and metal grilles) within a chamfered reveal. Identical but single windows to the cant on either side. At junction of apse and transepts is a wet dashed buttress with stepped and dressed copings. South transept walls are wet dashed. Gable end surmounted by square finial identical to north transept. Gable wall is blank but for a flat headed render hood mould (with label stops). Right cheek has a single cast iron lattice window similar to the nave. Left cheek is partially abutted by a lower modern gabled extension. Remaining section of wall is blank. This extension, which contains toilets, has a pitched natural slate roof, coped verges and half round metal rain water goods. Walls are dashed with cement finished with granite chippings over a raised smooth-rendered base course. Small modern timber Gothic stained glass window to west-facing gable, and a pair of similar to right cheek. Left cheek has a grained t+g timber door within a Gothic opening. This door appears to be much older than the extension and is probably reused from earlier porch at this location. Modern electric light fitting over door. South wall of nave is identical to north side except that the window at right end (just before transept) has been replaced with a stained glass in timber tracery. Setting The church is surrounded by a graveyard which is enclosed by a high random rubble wall. Approached from Church Street through a pair of dog-barred gates set within rubble granite piers with projecting cap. Path flanked by random rubble granite walls, capped with rounded pebbles set in cement. High Street entrance comprises a pair of wrought iron gates flanked by ashlar granite piers with oversailing pyramidal caps; each cap carries a metal post (probably for a gaslight standard), only the bases of which now survive. The left pier (as viewed from High Street) is inscribed “Erected by subscription AD 1835”. On the right post is “Dan Bagot DM. Chaplain. John Corbelt Church Warden”. A flight of ten granite steps leads up to path towards church. These steps are flanked by granite coped cement-rendered walls, with modern metal handrails.


Not Known

Historical Information

Original church thought to have been erected by Sir Nicholas Bagnall in the 1570s. His coat of arms, dated 1578, is embedded on the inside wall of the tower. This was moved to its present location from the S wall of the building in 1915. It had been placed on the S wall in 1830 during renovations to the church. If the 16th century date is accepted, it would make St Patrick’s the first post-reformation Protestant church in Ireland (although the earliest surviving vestry minutes only date to 1775). Originally the church comprised a nave and chancel (without structural division), south transept and tower. This early structure is evident in (1) the flat hood mould on the gable of the south transept; (2) much thicker walls in the first two stages of the tower, and (3) the Bagnall coat of arms (but see above). The church was ruinous by 1641 but was renovated in 1720-29; this included the insertion of a gallery. By the early 19th century it was once again in poor repair, and the congregation began the construction of St Mary’s Church (HB 16/30/001) as a replacement in 1810. This opened in 1819 and many memorials were brought from St. Patrick’s. Although St Mary’s was now the parish church, the congregation embarked on the repair of St Patrick’s and it reopened as a Chapel of Ease in 1819. The north transept was added sometime between 1835 and 1861. In 1869 St Patrick’s became a separate parish, distinct from St Mary’s, and St Patrick’s reassumed its role as a ‘proper’ church. The chancel was extended in period 1879-1886, the contractor being Alex Wheelan of Newry. Also added at this time were (1) organ and associated loft, (2) lectern and pulpit, (3) new choir stalls, (4) brass communion rail, and (5) heating apparatus; the pews were also refitted. A small annex appears to have been added at the north-east corner of the north transept by 1906. The present clock was installed in 1905 although the bell dates from c.1828 (year of casting). The porch on the west wall of the south transept is a more recent addition. Primary Sources: 1. PRONI OS 9/15/1/2 (OS 1835 map) 2. PRONI OS 9/15/2/13 (OS 1861 map) 3. PRONI VAL 12E/125/4/4 (1906 valuation map). Secondary Sources: 1. G.H. Bassett, 1886, Co Down Guide and Directory, p.89. 2. M. Jope (ed), 1966, Archaeological survey of Co Down, p.308. 3. S.J. Heasley (1978), ‘St Patrick’s Parish Church, Newry, 1578 AD – 1978 AD: a short historical guide (Newry). 4. ‘Recollections of olde Newry’, p.14 (author and date unknown; in Newry Library, Hill St). 5. T. Canavan, 1989, ‘Frontier town: an illustrated history of Newry’, p.45 (Belfast: Blackstaff Press).

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form H+. Alterations enhancing the building I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting

Historic Interest

W. Northern Ireland/International Interest V. Authorship Y. Social, Cultural or Economic Importance


Nave church built in Newry granite with added square tower, transepts and apse. Of classic simplicity, commanding position and historic importance, this church is of national significance. Although renovated and rebuilt during its long history, it retains some original features and a simple elegant character. With the surrounding graveyard it is a complete composition and the walls, gates and gate piers are also of special merit.

General Comments

**Previously recorded as HB16/28/001**

Date of Survey

12 April 2000