5. Site of Pre-1867 Catholic Church

This church, which is marked on the Primary Valuation map of the town (1852), occupied that site on which the Convent Primary School was later built, It was cruciform in shape 56ft. long, 28ft. wide and 18ft. high, with two almost identical returns of 27x13x18 ft. and several others, in what appears to have been an elaborate structure of centre nave and two lateral aisles.

Lewis described it (1837) as remarkably neat with its chapel yard tastefully planted and entered by a handsome gateway, formed of pillars of hewn stone, surmounted by richly crocketed pinnacles, the work of a native artist who also executed a beautiful baptismal font.

This was the first parish church of the newly-formed (1821) Catholic parish of Kanturk. It is estimated that it was in use from about 1800 when the chapel in Small Chapel Lane (no. 3) no longer sufficed for a growing population. With the opening of the Church of the Immaculate Conception (no. 6) and the arrival of the Mercy nuns in 1868, the old church was transformed into a two-storey primary school which bears little resemblance to today’s reconstructed lay-out of 1936.