Killabban (Laois) County Laois

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Killabban Castletown church (Church of Ireland) erected from 1801 to 1806 'to replace an earlier church at this location
Killabban-Castletown church (Church of Ireland) erected from 1801 to 1806 'to replace an earlier church at this location

The Vestry Minutes for this church are held at the Representative Church Body Library (RCBL) in Dublin.  The first page of the minutes states 'At a meeting legally called and held at the Church of Castletown area in the parish of Killabban the 27th day of June 1801 in order to ascertain what sum of money would be necessary to be applotted on said parish for the rebuilding of the parish church and other charges necessary for said church.  It was objected to by the majority of Protestant Parishioners then present to applott any sum on said parish for the rebuilding of the present parish church but are willing to assess the parish with any sum necessary for building a church at Ballickmoyler it being the most convenient to the said majority. Signed:  Church wardens:  John Bowles and John Tomlinson; Arthur Weldon, Minister'

The list of parishioners present includes three members of the gentry: William Cooper of Coopershill (Ballickmoyler), Arthur Hovenden of Gurteen and James FitzMaurice of Ashfield.  As none of these gentry lived near Castletown it was probably a compromise location. The large number of parishioners there from Ballickmoyler failed to influence the decision as the next entry dated 24 September 1801 records that the decision was made to rebuild the church at its present location.  The RCBL was not able to locate any reference to an earlier church at this site although there is an earlier cemetary adjacent to the present church.  The lack of any reference to an earlier church at the RCBL may indicate that it had been a Catholic church.

The entries from 1801 to 1804 only refer to the annual appointment of church wardens.  In 1804 the parish approved at allotment of 127£ to furnish the church.  In June 1805 they approved a plan to assign the church's 20 pews to individuals.  The front left side pew for the Rev'd. Weldon's family, the other front pew for William Cooper's family with the Hovendons, FitzGeralds and Suttons behind them.  The current church is still furnished with 20 pews so it is unlikely very much changed from the original.

See my account of The Church at Castletown at…


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