The small church at Timoleague likes to hide its light under a bushel. On the outside it is readily identifiable as typical Church of Ireland building synonymous with the “Board of First Fruits” period (1711-1833). Work began on the present building (which replaced a crumbling mediaeval structure) in 1802, but due to delays caused by Napoleon’s “Continental Blockade”, necessary building materials (such as the pitch-pine roof timbers) could not be brought from the Baltic, so the building was not completed until 1811. A casual visitor would not find anything especially remarkable about the outside of the building; it is from within that this building shines. Above all it is the magnificent mosaics inside the church building that make this a place well worth the visit (and if the visitor can get there by the scenic coastal drive along the R600 then all the better.)
Particular items of Interest:
The East Window, depicting the crucifixion, was declared by Bishop John Gregg in 1865 to be “a graven image”. It remained hidden by a curtain until the early 20th century.
The Pulpit of marble and white Caen limestone from Normandy.
The Mosaic and gold leaf on the chancel walls together with painted ceiling and polished Kilkenny Marble wall panels.
The Mosaic and stained glass windows in the nave and south transept.
The depiction of the Ascension of Christ on the West Wall.
The Angel Font, a favourite feature for many.
An information sheet in the church provides more history and detail on the specific features of the interior.
Access to the church: Service times are 9.00 am on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, 10.00 am on the first and third Sunday of the month
When church is locked you can get a key from the Post Office down the street.
There is adequate parking in front of the entrance to the churchyard.
There is no admission charge
Disabled access is possible, though wheelchair users may need assistance to open the inner doors, which open inwardly.
Unfortunately there are no toilet facilities, though there are some adjacent to the nearby Timoleague Abbey (which is itself well worth a visit).
Church of the Ascension
A key function for our committee is to make people more aware of the beauty and history of the Church of the Ascension. In doing so, we hope that you will support our cause.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
We will be using various social media such as websites and Facebook to promote our cause.
We are a small community and are passionate about preserving this little gem. It is a special church with many unique features. We believe it is our duty to preserve it for future generations.
The accompanying video gives you a taste of how unique the Church of the Ascension really is. The unique stained glass windows and the amazing mosaics are to be seen to be believed.
If possible, please pay us a visit and you'll understand why we believe preserving this church is so important.