Church of Ireland, Gorey - 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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DRIVING into Gorey from any direction, the lofty and handsome church on the hill at once attracts the attention of the stranger. The tower, a fine piece of architecture in itself, is a campanile, combining delicacy and simple solidity. Much lightness is imparted by varied windows. Five arched openings at each side of the top let the light through the structure. Below them are three large windows, and lower, three more of lesser size. A small tower rises at the side of the square one, octagonal in shape for much of its height, then circular, and surmounted by a sharp conical peak. The church is built of irregular stones, with many buttresses, whose corners are of cut granite. Its form is Gothic and to the south-west are two gables with large windows and trefoil lights in the points of the roof. The north-east gable has a Catherine-wheel window, with handsome stone traceries. The north-western gable contains the chancel, the vestry being in a small addition. The porch is under the tower, and from it a winding staircase ascends the smaller tower. The interior of the church is simple and very spacious. A single row of Gothic arches and white granite pillars supports the junction of the two roofs, which are of dark wood, with pendant posts. Three clear glass lancet windows, set with coloured glass, light the chancel. A lectern of carved wood, in natural colour, is the most elaborate object to be seen. In the gable wings, which form a sort of transept, the large circular windows set with coloured glass, have a fine effect. The floor is of stone blocks, and at the end of the aisle, immediately leading from the chancel, a rich window of five lancets is inscribed, “To the glory of God, and in memory of James Thomas, fourth Earl of Courtown, died 1858.” The window was the gift of his tenants, friends, and neighbours, and bears family arms and many arabesque devices of great beauty. The transept on the left of the pulpit has a gallery across it; the organ, a handsome and well-toned instrument, being opposite. Inside the chancel is a monument to Richard Boxwell, M.B., assistant-surgeon to the East India Company, who served in India seven years, and spent the last six years of his life as medical officer in the Gorey Union. The monument was the testimonial of his sorrowing friends. A number of plants of handsome ivy cling and beautify the sturdy buttresses of the church exterior.

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