#MARINERS CHURCH – NEW LIFE for Churches in Ireland – Good Practice in Conversion and Reuse is the title of a new multi-authored publication. Among the diverse range of 17 case studies is the former Mariners' Church, Dun Laoghaire, which as the National Maritime Museum of Ireland was officially reopened in June by President Michael D. Higgins.
At the reopening President Higgins said "This magnificent old Mariners' Church is one of the few large mariner churches in the world. It is a beautiful building...it is great to raise awareness of our maritime heritage".
Writing about the former Church of Ireland place of worship, Peter Pearson details the history of the building erected in 1836 to the designs of Joseph Welland for the benefit of the many sailors who were based on Royal Navy vessels in the then new Kingstown Harbour.
Accompanying the case study are photographs including those taken by Jehan Ashmore on the day of the reopening to illustrate the building which underwent substantial conservation and renovation work (between 2005-2011) by James Slattery Architects.
Asides the Mariners' Church there are further case studies from throughout the island of Ireland, amongst them Elmwood Hall in Belfast, Carlingford Heritage Centre, Triskel Christ Church, Cork and St. Werburgh's Church, where last month the book had its Dublin launch.
Also featured are more modest but nevertheless important schemes, followed by a section featuring projects where work is underway but not complete. Schemes include the conversion of churches for domestic as well as cultural, commercial and community use. Each of these case studies are underpinned by an analysis of our ecclesiastical heritage, a flow chart to stimulate discussion on underused churches and an explanation of conservation principles and statutory responsibilities.
The 144-page publication is produced by the Ulster Historic Churches Trust and edited by Paul Harron. Among the other contributors are Edward McParland, Grainne Shaffrey, Patrick Shaffrey, Michael O'Boyle and Alistair Rowan. The book has a wealth of full colour photographs, drawings and illustrative material throughout.
Retail prices are €15 / £12 (softback) and €20 / £18 (hardback) and they can be purchased from the following stockists:
DUN LAOGHAIRE: Maritime Museum Gift Shop, National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Mariners'Church, Haigh Terrace (note: Open 11am-5pm Everyday)
DUBLIN: RIAI Bookshop / Irish Georgian Society (both on Merrion Square), Dublin Civic Trust, Castle St. (beside Dublin Castle) and St. Michan's Church office
BELFAST: Good Book Shop, Donegall St. (beside St Anne's Cathedral)
or available through Amazon.