The Church was built in the last decade of the archiepiscopate of Dr. Murray (1823-1854) to the design of Patrick Byrne, better known for his classical Church designs in the Archdiocese. The foundation stone was laid on the feast of St. John the Baptist's Nativity, 24th June, 1842, and completed and dedicated on 14th September, 1845.
The classical style was more 'Roman' and, since all the earlier gothic were in the hands of Anglicans, the classical style was used as a counterpoint by the emergent Catholic people of Dublin. However, the gothic revival, albeit in a functional form, had, at last, reached Catholic Dublin.
Blackrock was Byrne's third in the Archdiocese and his first in the gothic style. He followed St. John the Baptist's (1845) with St. James', James' Street (1844), completed in a much simplified form, and the Church of the Visitation, Fairview (1847), Ss. Alphonsus and Columba's, Ballybrack (1854), each in gothic. The old St. Pappan's, Ballymun (1848) was also to Byrne's design in gothic. He returned to the classical style for Our Lady, Refugium Peccatorum, Rathmines (1850) and the Three Patrons', Rathgar (1860).
The stained glass windows are remarkably eclectic. William Wailes designed the windows of the sanctuary gable (1845). Joshua Clarke designed the joyful and sorrowful mysteries windows in the organ loft (1898). Harry Clarke produced windows in the nave representing Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Ss. Sebastian, Hubert and Francis, and the Crucifixion (1925). Early & Co. produced windows depicting the life of St. Anne (c. 1930).
Our pilgrimage Mass was for the feast of St. Mark with a commemmoration of the Rogation Day. As you look at the reredos, to the left of Our Lady (center) is St. Peter and to his left is St. Mark. We were made exceptionally welcome by Fr. Delany, Kay and the whole community, and were treated to tea in the Parish Center after Mass.
St. Mark's statue to the far left, then St. Peter, Our Lady, St. Paul and St. Luke
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