Church of the Immaculate Conception - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

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AT a first glance it would appear as though one description might serve this church and its counterpart, which is dedicated to the Assumption. There are, however, differences in surrounding and appointment that are worthy of separate notice. The Church of the Immaculate Conception is well-favored in point of position, and is easy of access, its grounds opening upon three streets—Rowe, John, and High. The interior is fitted in a style at once substantial and elegant, each lower window being provided with stained glass, the clerestory openings alone being filled with clear panes. Entering at the south door the first window on the right has representations of St. Columbkille and St. Aidan, and was erected by Matilda Segrave in memory of her husband, O’Neal Segrave. On the brass tablet of the second window is an inscription perpetuating the memory of John H. Talbot, J.P., D.L., Co. Wexford. The window was erected by O’Neal and Matilda Segrave. Lady Power, Mrs. Segrave, and J. H. Talbot presented the third window in memory of Sir Thomas Nicholas Redington. It depicts the figures of St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. St. Laurence O’Toole and St. Margarita occupy the fourth window, which was the gift of John H. Talbot, and commemorates the names of Col. Brien O’Toole, C.B., Knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal, Knight of St. Louis of France, and other orders, and that of his nephew, Capt. Matthew O’Toole. At the back of the Virgin’s and St. Joseph’s altars are handsome coloured windows. Beneath the latter altar lies a statue representing the dead Christ. Instead of a division screen between the altars, traceries of Caen stone fill the arches, which are supported by light pillars of Irish marble. Encaustic tiles set in Portland stone, compose the floors. Figures of apostles and saints grouped about the crucifixion, form the subject of the great eastern window. Proceeding with an examination of the windows, that to the left of the southern entrance, picturing St. Anne and St. Catherine, was presented by O’Neal Segrave and his aunt, Katherine Kellett, in memory of Anne F. Segrave. On the immediate right of the main entrance is one dedicated by Margaret Connell to her husband’s memory, with figures of St. Margaret and St. Francis. Over the font the baptism of Christ is set in stained glass. SS. Richard, Matthew, Elizabeth, and Catherine are portrayed on the first northern window, which was raised to Richard Walsh, Mayor of Wexford, his brother Matthew and sister Elizabeth, by his sister Catherine. Moses Doyle was the donor of the second window, Moses receiving the Laws in one light, and in the other the Smiting of the Rock in the Wilderness. The third window was given by Eleanor Scanlan to commemorate her husband and son. Four patron Saints illuminate the last northern window, being the gift of Anne Coghlan, Margaret McGill, and James Coghlan, in memory of Mary Cullen.

Both side entrances to the Church are approached by massive granite steps. At the principal entrance, on John Street, white stones are set in an inscription to the effect that the building was erected by the very Rev. James Roche, P.P., Wexford, A.D. 1852. The door is deep, and though its heavy fluted casing is simple, it is of admirable construction. The spire has a clock, erected by Mr. William Timpson. All around the church and through the grounds are broad gravelled walks in perfect order. In the season of flowers, the beds are bright with colour. The wall on the east is a part of the old Town Wall, with which a small ivy covered tower, formerly used by archers, is contemporary.

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