independent

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Christ Church Gorey the focus of historical lecture

The recent North Wexford Historical Society lecture on Christ Church Gorey, which was delivered by Willie Willoughby
The recent North Wexford Historical Society lecture on Christ Church Gorey, which was delivered by Willie Willoughby

Cathy Lee

The North Wexford Historical Society held its final lecture for this term on the topic of Christ Church Gorey, which was held in the historic building, and focused on the connection the church had to Gorey's 400 years of history.

Presented by one of the founder members of North Wexford Historical Society, Willie Willoughby, the crowd there heard a detailed account of the church building, the graveyard as well as the school building, told from the lens of the local historian.

'Churches are the place where the presence of the past of ordinary people is strongest,' said Willie Willoughby speaking about Christ Church Gorey.

Willie Willoughby dated the Church of Reverend Thomas Ram to as far back as 1610.

There was a passageway from the Market House, which was built in 1709, to the Market Square Church, with a strong connection always upheld there, particularly with associated with the Ram family, some of whom are buried in the graveyard.

'A lot of Gorey's history is at rest in this place,' said Willie Willoughby on the night.

Listeners heard of the new bell that was installed in the Market Square Church, as it was known in 1735, much to the delight of the people of Gorey.

A new church, Christ Church Gorey, was ready for use in 1819, which made the protestant people in Gorey, 'very happy and proud,' said Willie Willoughby.

'The new church was a spacious structure, in which the Norman and English styles are blended,' Willie Willoughby explained.

The school building was created in 1834, with Stephen Ram appointed Patron and financial benefactor to the school.

The church fell into disrepair in the 1850s, not being big enough for the area as it only seated 400 people, and was eventually demolished in 1858 after 39 years.

Plans were then put together to rebuild in the Gothic style, and many people in Gorey got jobs on site to rebuild the church.

About 20 large trees had been standing around at the graveyard, but these were removed in the 1920s.

Today, the church is open seven days a week and the reverend is Rev Canon Mark Hayden.

North Wexford Historical Society has now finished its lecture series for the season, but will commence its summer tours programme, the first starting on Saturday, May 25.

For more information contact Gerard Fleming at 086 8138262 or email carrigbeg@eircom.net.

Gorey Guardian

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