Maynooth to celebrate church architect

MAYNOOTH is to celebrate the creativity of the designer of one of its best known buildings when it holds a seminar on Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin this September.

MAYNOOTH is to celebrate the creativity of the designer of one of its best known buildings when it holds a seminar on Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin this September.

Pugin, born in 1812, died at the relatively young age of 40 on 14 September 1852.

He designed the college buildings of St Patrick and St Mary in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth; though not the college chapel. His original plans included both a chapel and an aula maxima, neither of which were built because of financial constraints. The college chapel was designed by a follower of Pugin, the Irish architect J.J. McCarthy.

Other Irish designs by Pugin included St. Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney, St. Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, the Dominican church of the Holy Cross in Tralee and revised plans for St. Michael’s Church in Ballinasloe, Galway.

Pugin was initially invited to Ireland by the Redmond family to work initially in the south east in County Wexford. He came to Ireland in 1838 and had a reputation for demanding high quality work from his craftsmen.

On 23 February last the UK Royal Mail released a first class stamp featuring Pugin as part its “Britons of Distinction” series. The stamp image depicts an interior view of the Palace of Westminster.

The conference will take place on September 12 at Renehan Hall on the St Patrick’s College campus.

The day will include talks and conference sessions, an address by Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and a visit to College chapel led by Dominic McNamara (St Patrick’s College, Maynooth).

Advanced registration is required. Lo gon to www.nuim.ie or contact the History Department, NUI Maynooth on 01 7083729. Registration fee €25 (including lunch).

- Henry Bauress