Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My wife's ancestors - Fitzwilliam - Contents

Donnybrook church, Co.Dublin

The surviving wall of the old Donnybrook church.
Photo 2014. See full size and other shot.
See wide shot showing location in the centre of the graveyard.

The old Donnybrook church, St.Mary's, dated from the 12th century.
It existed in the time of Archbishop Comyn (1181 to 1212).

There was a Fitzwilliam chapel, in which the Fitzwilliam tomb dated from around death of Sir Richard Fitzwilliam, Kt 1595.
From at least 1615 on (and probably earlier), Donnybrook church was Protestant, though the Catholic Fitzwilliams continued to be buried there, in the old Fitzwilliam tomb.
2nd Viscount Fitzwilliam (1st Earl of Tyrconnel, Catholic) was buried there 1667.
3rd Viscount Fitzwilliam (Catholic) was buried there 1675.

The church was rebuilt in the time of Archbishop King (1703 to 1729).
The Fitzwilliams conformed to the established church 1710.
Archbishop King was buried at Donnybrook in 1729. No monument survives.
The architect Edward Lovett Pearce was buried here 1733. No contemporary monument survives. Later a plaque was erected to him. See 2014 photo.
6th Viscount Fitzwilliam (Protestant) was buried at Donnybrook in 1776.
The painter William Ashford was buried here in 1824.

A new Protestant church, also called "St.Mary's", was built (foundation 1827, opened 1830) at the corner of Simmonscourt Rd and Anglesea Rd (see street view).
The old St.Mary's church at Donnybrook was soon demolished and many of its graves and monuments lost.
Page 11 of [Blacker, 1860-74] says: "the materials of it were sold and removed ... and of the monuments in the interior, not one was rescued from destruction!"
The old church is gone by the time of the 1829 to 1842 map.

A wall survives of the old church, in the centre of the graveyard.
Pages 36-37 of [Blacker, 1860-74] discuss the loss of the monuments and confirm that "A small portion of one of the walls is standing".
Many graves survive (the earliest from 1629). [Blacker, 1860-74] gives inscriptions.
But monuments in and around the church site do not survive. The Fitzwilliam tomb does not survive.
Note that the paths in the graveyard are new. They were only laid out in late 20th century restoration.

Donnybrook on John Rocque's map of Dublin, 1757.

The now vanished St.Mary's church, Donnybrook, would be the building beside the blue marker.
This location given for the church here is much closer to the laneway than the bit of wall that survives today, which is in the middle of the graveyard.
Even if the bit of wall is from the extension on the E side of the church, it seems the map's positioning is a bit inaccurate.
There are old graves today at the back of the graveyard by the laneway, so the church could not have been there. It must have been more in the centre, where the surviving wall is.
From this map, the church gate must have been on the W laneway, not on the E road as it is today.

[Lodge's Peerage, 1789] shows that at that point the tomb and inscription of the 2nd Viscount (1st Earl) (died 1667) was still visible in the old Donnybrook church.

Donnybrook graveyard on 1829 to 1842 map.
The church is completely vanished. The houses in the lane survive today (see street view).
Beside them here (to the S) appears to be an old corner gate into the churchyard (now bricked up).
Note the old 18th century Catholic church to the NE side.

Donnybrook graveyard on 1887 to 1913 map.
Note the old houses in the lane. If there was a gateway S of them, it is now bricked up.
The lane is called "Church Lane".
The Catholic church has moved to a big new site further out of town.
The wall of the old Catholic church remains on the NE side of the graveyard. See 2014 photo.

45 degree view looking N from Google Maps.

45 degree view looking S from Google Maps.

The rear side of the surviving wall of the old Donnybrook church.
Photo 2014. See full size and other shot.
See wide shot and wide shot showing location in the centre of the graveyard.

The houses in the lane (on LHS).
From Google street view.

The wall of the graveyard beside the houses in the lane.
Photo 2014. See full size.
Close-up makes it look like there might be an old bricked-up gate into the graveyard here.

The view from the inside.
It strongly looks like a bricked-up gateway.
Photo 2014. See full size.

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