History of St. Paul's Newtownforbes
On this page we share some of the History St. Paul's Newtownforbes. Many thanks to the local Historians, who did much of the research for us, and for Longford Library and Heritage for giving permission to include some of their historcal video's.
St. Paul’s Church, in the parish of Clongish, Co. Longford, is one of the most significant churches in the region. The original church was built circa 1694 by Sir Arthur Forbes, 1st Earl of Granard of Castleforbes Estate. The architect was Robert Johnston of Aberdeenshire in Scotland. The first Earl died in 1695 and was interred in the crypt beneath the church.
In 1820, the present church was rebuilt to the design of John Hargraves and features early Gothic Revival/Scots-Baronial influences. The church with its cruciform structure features a two storey square tower, fully enclosed timber box pews, private galleries, a two-tiered pulpit, wall memorials including the Forbes /Hastings/Rawdon hatchments as well as many examples of fine plasterwork. The surrounding historic graveyard contains headstones dating back to 1698 and all are recorded on http://historicgraves.com/newtown-forbes/ld-spnf- website and are also available in the publication St. Paul’s Historic Graveyard by Doreen McHugh and Desmond Mooney. Some historically notable people associated with St. Paul’s include the Gaelic poet and writer Charlotte Brooke and the great-grandparents of cryptologist Alan Turing who developed the first computer and broke the enigma code. Also associated with the church was William Fraser Browne, nicknamed ‘Horsey Browne’ , who played rugby for Ireland between 1925 and 1928 and whose father was the rector in the parish for 32 years.
Visitors are most welcome to visit this historical and spiritual church in the heart of Newtownforbes.
Other associated buildings
Parish Hall in church grounds
Clooncumber Chapel of Ease
Want more information?
A published book of St. Paul's Historic Graveyard is available to purchase. Please contact us for more details.