Historic font is blessed to be back in town

June 4, 2021

first_imgNewcastle West Gardaí move Facebook Dean of Limerick, Niall Sloane, Grellan Rourke, Senior Conservation Architect OPW, Canon Patrick Comerford, Bishop Kenneth Kearon of Limerick and Killaloe and John McMahon, Commissioner of the Office of Public Works, were pictured with St. Thomas’ Baptismal Font which was returned to Desmond Hall, Newcastle West, from St. Mary’s Church, LimerickTHOUSANDS of infants got their first taste of religion in a baptismal font that has been missing from Newcastle West for almost 60 years.And now the Office of Public Works (OPW) has welcomed the return of the St. Thomas’ Baptismal Font to the town.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The font was originally located in St. Thomas’ Church which was built in 1777 but deconsecrated in 1958 and demolished in 1962.  After an absence of nearly 60 years, the font is returning back to Newcastle West and will be located in Desmond Castle, close to the original site of St. Thomas’ Church.“The castle is a complex site and its uses over the centuries have been varied – from a defensive structure in the 1200s to a cinema and community hall in more recent years.  The only reminder of St. Thomas’ is the footprint of the building inside the gate and so, the font is very precious both to the National Monument Service and to the town,” a spokeswoman for the OPW told the Limerick Post.The restoration of the font was carried out by OPW craftworkers.Among the more famous people brought into the faith over the font was Sophie Peirce (1896-1939), an early Irish aviation pioneer and native of Knockaderry.She broke the world altitude record for British light aircraft in 1927 and also lectured on aviation. In 1928, she became the first pilot to fly solo from Cape Town to London, one of her most well known accomplishments.St. Thomas’s Church was paid for by William, second Viscount Courtenay but there is little historical information on the font.From the Bishop’s Visitation records, the church appears to have been in a decent condition, but over time fell into disrepair. The font was moved and eventually relocated to St. Mary’s Cathedral and the altar was given to Kilflynn Church, about 50km south-east from Newcastle West.Desmond Castle is one of the main tourist attractions in the county town. Free to enter, it opens between April and September each year.Now home to the baptismal font, the Desmond Banqueting Hall is an imposing two-storey structure and was used by the Earls of Desmond for banqueting and entertainment. The Hall, vaulted lower chamber and adjoining tower were all constructed during the 15th century.The hall and chamber were built on the remains of a 13th century structure of similar size. Its restored medieval features include an oak musicians’ gallery and a limestone hooded fireplace.The baptismal font can be viewed during the castle opening times. Man and woman arrested after Gardaí seize cash and suspected drugs worth more than €28,000 Print Patrickswell women get to the heart of the matter Heartbroken publicans call time on their Covid lockdown Linkedin Free admission to Desmond Castle Abbeyfeale water supply gets the all clearcenter_img Previous articleI.NY: inspired by New York CityNext articleLove is all around for Mr Marti Pellow Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Twitter Advertisement TAGSfeatureLimerick CountyNewcastle West NewsCommunityVideoHistoric font is blessed to be back in townBy Bernie English – October 11, 2018 1085 Emaillast_img

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