Shandon: St Anne's Church

 

Shandon Steeple

Shandon steeple is one of the best-known and best-loved buildings in Cork. Even outside Cork, Shandon is the building most associated with the city. St Anne's, Shandon, was built in 1722 as a chapel-of-ease to St Mary's, Shandon, which stood in Mallow Lane, as Shandon Street was named then. St Anne's, Shandon, became a parish church in its own right in 1738. Architecturally, the design of the building is very simple. It consists of a square tower surmounted by a lantern; on top of the lantern is a copper dome with a gilded weather vane in the shape of a salmon. The salmon was regilded in 2004. The height of the building is one hundred and seventy feet. The salmon is eleven feet three inches in length. The north and east sides of the tower are faced with red sandstone and the south and west sides are faced with limestone. The famous bells in the tower were cast at Gloucester, England, by Abel Rudhall in 1750 and installed in1752. Some of the bells have been recast over the years but still bear their original inscriptions. The four-faced clock, made by James Mangan of Cork, was erected by Cork Corporation in 1847. On a part of the clock's mechanism we can read, 'Passenger measure your Time, for Time is the Measure of your Being'. The bells were immortalised by the poet and writer Francis Sylvester Mahony, better known by his pen-name of Father Prout, in his famous poem 'The Bells of Shandon'. Appropriately enough Mahony is buried in the graveyard of the church. Restoration work on the church was carried out in 2004.

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