Enniscorthy Catholic Cathedral - 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 meeting of the parishioners, in March, 1838, it was decided to begin the rebuilding of the Cathedral. A work of such magnitude takes a great many years to complete in every detail. Each generation adds, replaces, and perfects. At present, though symmetrical and evenly decorated, it presents large possibilities in the matter of beautifying. The aisles are formed by two rows of tall granite pillars supporting arches, simply stencilled, and corresponding with the roof, which is of dark wood. From the altar rail to the chancel window there is a large space, the arches between it and the aisles being filled with carved stone screens, supported on polished pillars of native marbles. The floor is set with encaustic tiles, and at each side of the rail is a statue, larger than life, of the Virgin and St. Joseph respectively, standing on richly carved pedestals. The high altar is a handsome piece of workmanship, having niches filled with Scripture representations. At the back a window of stained glass represents the Virgin, surrounded by full-sized figures of saints. There are large windows in both transepts. At the western extremity of each aisle is a carved altar, prettily enclosed and backed by a stained glass window. Near the one in the southern aisle a monument in grey and white marbles, with carved draperies, dove, and inverted torches, is in memory of Bishop Ryan of Ferns, 1819. In the north aisle are two memorial windows presented by Peter Doyle, Ballinahallin, and John Hore. A statue of the Virgin, standing upon a half sphere and serpent, is in the north transept, erected to the memory of Patrick Cullin, 1857. In the same aisle are memorial brasses to Rev. Patrick Kelly, Curate of Camolin, a native of Enniscorthy; Rev. John Busher, Curate of Enniscorthy, 1876; Rev. Thomas Breen, 1868; Rev. John P. Hore, 1864; and Rev. Thomas Warren. Over the last named is a stained window in memory of Bishop Murphy, of Ferns, 1856. In the same aisle is a window in memoriam, to Bishop Furlong, of Ferns, 1875. Within the enclosure of the small altar a window commemorates Bishop Keating, of Ferns, 1849. It is particularly interesting from its representation of the Bishop presenting to St. Patrick a cathedral in miniature. The outward aspect of the building is imposing, and further enhanced by being situated on nearly the highest point of the town. Its tower rises from the intersection of the cross, and has a spire remarkable for architectural elegance. The designs were by Pugin.

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