Catholic Parishes and Chapels in Dublin city – 1818

Extract from “History of the City of Dublin from the earliest accounts to the present time” by the late J. Warburton (Deputy keeper of records in Birmingham tower)
the late Rev. J. Whitelaw M.R.I.A., vicar of St. Catherine’s
and the Rev. Robert Walsh M.R.I. – Volume 2, published London 1818
plus derived city map of the chapels

(Extract from pages 806 to 810 – chapter heading ‘Roman Catholic Schools’)

As these establishments [Schools] form a striking feature in the toleration of the present day , we shall premise a brief sketch of the divisions of the city for which these schools were established , and give a general view of the parochial distribution of the Roman Catholic population

While the penal laws were in force, the clergy of that persuasion were obliged to administer spiritual consolation to their flock rather according to their temporary convenience than any systematic plan. No places of public worship were permitted, and the clergyman moved his altar, books, and everything necessary for the celebration of his religious rites from house to house, among such of his flock as were enabled in this way to support an itinerant domestic chaplain ; while for the poorer part some waste house or stable, in a remote and retired situation, was selected, and here the service was silently and secretly performed, unobserved by the public eye. But the spirit of toleration had already gone abroad, and an incident furnished a pretext for allowing places of public worship, while yet the statutes proscribed them. The crowds of poor people who flocked to receive the consolations of their religion were too great for the crazy edifices to contain or support them, and serious accidents, attended with the loss of sundry lives, occasioned by the falling down of these places of resort, called for the interference of a humane government.

In the year 1745, Lord Chesterfield, then viceroy of Ireland, permitted these congregations to assemble in more safe and public places. The old edifices consecrated to public worship were re-opened, and new ones gradually built in the city. And a further toleration allowed their clergy unmolested to distribute their flocks into such parochial districts as might be convenient for their attendance. This distribution is as follows, designated from the street in which the chapel is situated.

Arran-Quay, comprehends St. Paul’s parish, and extends in that direction as far as the parish of Blanchardtown, including a portion of the Phoenix-Park as far as the Vice-regal lodge. On the east, it is bounded by a line along one side of Church-street, northward. Besides the parish chapel, there are in this district a friary in Church-street, and a nunnery in King street.

Mary’s-Lane, comprehends part of St. Michan’s and of St. George’s parishes: it extends from the Liffey to the Tolka rivers, and is included between Hues drawn from Old Church street to Glasnevin bridge, from thence down the right bank of the Tolka to Drumcondra bridge, and from thence through Arran-street to the Liffey. A new chapel is erected for this district in Arran-street. There is besides a nunnery on George’s-hill.

Liffey-Street, comprehends St. Mary’s, St. Thomas’s, and part of St. George’s parishes. It is bounded on the west, by the east side of Arran street, where it joins Ormond Quay, through Boot and Petticoat-lanes, Green street, Bolton-street, and Dorset-street, to Drumcondra bridge, thence down the river Tolka, by Ballybough bridge to the Liffey. It is for this extensive and populous district, the spacious metropolitical chapel is now erecting in Marlborough-street. There is also a friary in Denmark-street, a nunnery on Summer-hill, and a chapel in Hardwick-street, which belonged to a nunnery formerly in Dorset- street.

Townsend Street, comprehends St. Mark’s, St. Anne’s, St. Andrew’s, and part of St. Peter’s parish. There is a friary in Clarendon-street, and the friary of St. Patrick’s in French-street.

Rosemary-Lane, comprehends the parishes of St. Michael, St. John, St. Bride, and St. Nicholas within, including the Castle Circuit, and Christ Church. For the congregation of this district, a spacious and handsome chapel has been erected in Lower Exchange-street, on the site of the old theatre in Smock-alley, and opened for divine service in 1815.

Bridge-Street, comprehends only St. Audeon’s parish. In this district is the friary of Adam and Eve, in Cook-street.

Francis-Street, includes St. Luke’s, St. Nicholas without, the greater part of St. Peter’s parish, Harold’s Cross, and Rathmines, and extends as far as Miltown River. In this district are the nunneries of Ranelagh, Harold’s Cross, and Warren’s Mount.

Meath-Street, comprehends St. Catherine’s parish, with a rural district as far as the Canal. In this is the friary of St. John, for Augustinian friars, in Thomas-street.

James-Street, comprehends Kilmainham, Dolphin’s Barn, and extends as far as the Canal. It has a nunnery in James-street.

Extract from Dublin City Map 1818 showing approx locations of RC chapels
Approx locations for Dublin city Catholic Chapels as of 1818 (full source map available at this link)
right click and open image in new tab for a larger version

1818 Chapels with Civil Parish overlay – map and parish boundaries from Openstreetmap / contributors (right click and open image in new tab for a larger version)

For the Roman Catholic population of Dublin, then, there are Nine Chapels, viz.

Arran Quay.
James street.
Liffey street
Hardwick-street (* to be confirmed – sw).

Six Friaries, viz.

Church-street (Capuchins).
French-street (calced Carmelites).
Denmark-street (Dominicans).
Cook-street (Franciscans).
Clarendon-street (discalced Carmelites).
Mass-lane (Augustinians)

Seven Nunneries, viz.

Harold’s Cross 16 Nuns
James-street 8
Warren’s Mount 14
George’s Hill 11
Summer Hill 6
Ranelagh 18
King-street 6

In these officiate 70 secular clergymen belonging to the parochial establishments, and 40 regulars belonging to the different friaries

This entry was posted in Chapels and Churches, Dublin, Dublin City, Irish History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.