Added on 01/10/2012
The October ‘Archive of the Month‘ is an introduction to the collections of architectural drawings of churches and glebe houses, mostly dating from the 19th century, which are held in the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin.
Architectural drawings, some of which also include specifications, are of obvious value to the architectural profession and especially those who are engaged as diocesan architects in the Church of Ireland. As many of the churches are listed buildings the availability of primary sources concerning them is an important part of documenting the Church’s built heritage.
Furthermore, in recent times, with the sale of redundant churches and of period houses which were used as rectories, there has been an upsurge in interest in the history of these buildings as new owners seek to learn more about their new homes.
The RCB Library’s collections include sets of drawings by the iconic Dublin architect John Semple, best known perhaps for the idiosyncratic Monkstown parish church, as well surveys of churches in the ecclesiastical province of Cashel by James Pain and similar surveys of churches in the ecclesiastical province of Tuam by Joseph Welland. Lists of these drawings are available on the RCB Library website.
By far the largest collection is 27 portfolios of drawings of churches from every diocese in the Church of Ireland. These are the subject of a major project to provide an on–line catalogue of digitized images of the drawings. The work of architectural historian, Dr Michael O’Neill FSA, the first phase of this catalogue has been completed and is available at www.archdrawing.ireland.anglican.org
In addition there is a collection of miscellaneous drawings, with some specifications, of glebe houses and a list of these is available on the RCB Library website.
For further information please contact:
Dr Raymond Refaussé
Librarian and Archivist
E–mail: Librarian and Archivist