Friday, 25 May 2012

Strawberry Hill in Kildare and Leighlin - Killenard

This Church was completed by the great Fr. Terence O'Connell, one of the great builders of Kildare and Leighlin, who was the Administrator of Carlow Cathedral who brought it to completion, and who built the Churches of Emo and Portarlington in the same Parish as Killenard. It tells a tale of two phases. It wants to be a classical building. The facade is in a classical idiom. The windows are round-headed, albiet that the wooden tracery introduces the pointed arch. However, the original fittings are generally strawberry hill. It says something for Catholic interior décor that the organ case is the best remaining feature in a whimsical gothick.

The sanctuary wall evokes its near contemporary in Johnstownbridge. In both we have a recessed calvary. It's interesting to speculate that Fr. O'Connell and Fr. Treacey, who were both church-building pastors, shared ideas, or lifted them, from each other. Although the tracery in Killenard is of the most elementary and the roof plasterwork is rustic, the common feature of the 'forest' of pillars, and the niched pillars, is more masculine and forceful in Killenard.

The Church is a frequent wedding venue, more, perhaps, for its proximity to 'The Heritage' Golf and Country Club than its architecture but it retains several features that merit for it, among not very intense competition, one of the prettiest Churches in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to all for this wonderful event.

Random Thinker said...

I cant see where the tabernacle used to be. Same problem in Johnstown Bridge. That side altar is really amazing for the colour and design and sharpness. Pity that there is that big lump of raw stone stuck into all that beautiful wood carving.

Ollie said...

I don't think there is a standard feature in the whole building. It's completely innovative and imaginative but it still works. There was an artistic sense in Catholicism that is easily dismissed by the modern know-somethings. Thanks for bringing us this series. (loved the "hindu gothic"!!!)