Small Chapel Lane is now no more, swallowed up in urban re-development in Church Street and the Market Square, which evolved slowly in post-Famine times. However, its details are intriguing as it is possibly the first recorded church in Kanturk even though there are no diocesan records of its existence (a masshouse, sited on the river side of Greenfield Road, is recorded under 1739).
It was located between the southern section of Percival Street and the Market House plot. There are references to it in John Purcell’s 1791 town survey and in Henry Bride’s map and survey of the Chapel Lot 1847. In the latter document, No. 5, Small Chapel Lane is listed as “Quinlan’s House or former entrance to Old Chapel”.
Apart from the possibility of its inclusion in the four nameless chapels mentioned in Bishop McKenna’s visitation of Clonfert parish in 1785, there is no other parochial or diocesan reference to this place of worship – decidedly odd.
It is estimated that it was in service from c.1751 to c.1801. The old people of an earlier generation referred to this place as the Church of Saint Mark because, during building operations around 1900, stone slabs were discovered in its vicinity, some bearing inscriptions of a lion, the symbol of St. Mark. Whatever about appellations, there is proof positive of its existence despite clerical reservations.