St. Mary's is a Protected Structure of Regional Importance due to its architectural, artistic, historical, social, and technical merits. The church was built in three phases, 1813, 1926-32 and 1959-61. The style of the building is Neo Romanesque with a spirit of 1930s modernism. It has simple, undecorated forms and massing and in its use of modern concrete and steel, creates a structure of impressive scale and monumentality.
The 1932 extension by R.M. Butler is of considerable significance for its early use of mass concrete (possibly the earliest use of this material in a church in Ireland). The entrance front replacing the Georgian gothic church was a later addition by James Rupert Edward Boyd Barrett in 1959-61. The church is also significant because of its rich collection of works of art and craftsmanship in a range of different media, including marble sculpture, stained glass and opus sectile work.
This public lecture and tour of St Mary’s Church in Westport will focus on the history and significance of St. Mary's Church and the challenges faced in its conservation following the side aisle ceiling collapse in July 2015. It will be followed by a brief tour of the building, which is currently in the process of restoration.
Architect: R.M. Butler, James Rupert Edward Boyd Barrett, Cox Power Architects
Period: 1813, 1920s and late 1950s
Access: Begins at 3pm for a duration of one hour on Sunday 1 October
Type: Lecture and Tour of Protected Structure
Guide/speaker: David Power Architect & Aine Doyle Conservation Consultant
GPS Location: 53.800616 9.522109
Eircode: F28 FD00
This is a free tour but booking is required.