All Saints' Church, Raheny

All Saints' Church, Raheny was built by Lord Ardilaun who owned St Anne's estate in the late nineteenth century.

 

This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.

All Saints' Church, Raheny

On Howth Road, near Watermill Road, stands All Saints’ Church on a site which was once part of St Anne’s estate, the large area of land between Raheny and Clontarf that had belonged to the Guinness family. It had been built, like so many other buildings, by Lord Ardilaun who owned St Anne’s estate in the late nineteenth century.

In 1885, Lord Ardilaun went to a meeting at the old St Assam’s Church in the heart of Raheny village which was the parish church for the Church of Ireland community then and of which there are now only ruins left. At that time St Assam’s was very old and needed a lot of repairs. Lord Ardilaun offered to build a new church and pay for it himself.

He chose George Ashlin, who also designed the Red Stables as well as St Peter’s Church in Phibsboro later on, as architect. Ashlin modelled the church tower on the steeple of the beautiful and famous cathedral in Salisbury in England. He also tried to use as many Irish materials as possible: the walls, for example, are built with granite from Wicklow while the pulpit is carved in Irish oak and no expense was spared. The church cost £9,000 to build and it was later connected to Lord Ardilaun’s house in the estate by a tree-lined avenue.

The church was supposed to open on All Saints’ Day, 1 November 1889, Lord Ardilaun and his father’s birthday, but Lord Ardilaun’s sister died so the opening was postponed until 16 December.

Now Lord Ardilaun was one of only a few people who had a private church on their estate but, although it was privately built, it was open to all parishioners and it is still in use today.

There are eighteen beautiful stained glass windows in the church. Two of them are in the mortuary chapel where Lord and Lady Ardilaun are buried. On one of the walls in this chapel is a curse that says ‘curs’d be he who would disturb those sleeping here’.

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