One of the rich architectural heritage of Bunclody in north County Wexford is a Roman Catholic church Saint Mary’s Church of Ireland.
There are four churches in the Bunclody union in the Diocese of Ferns: Saint Mary’s, Bunclody (Newtownbarry), Saint Fiaac’s, Clonegal (Moyacombe), Saint Paul’s, Kildavin (Barragh), and Saint Brigid’s, Kilrush (Ballinabearna), and the parishes spread from Bunclody into parts of Co Wexford, Co Carlow and Co Wicklow.
Saint Mary’s is the largest of the four churches in the union of parishes, and can seat up to 400 people. It stands elegantly on a hill overlooking Bunclody.
Saint Mary’s Church was built in about 1775 at the expense of the Maxwell family and it was consecrated on 3 May 1776. It has been reshaped and rebuilt many times since it was first built.
Saint Mary’s is a three-bay double-height Board of First Fruits. It has a single-bay, double-height lower chancel to the west, and a single-bay three-stage entrance tower to the east on a square plan.
Saint Mary’s is built of cut granite stone, and the church has a fine granite steeple with four spires at its base, which was added in 1871. The single bell in the steeple commemorates Henry Maxwell, Bishop of Meath, who is closely identified with building this church and who died in 1798.
The motifs in the memorial include a Romanesque-style door-case, a tiled or diapered effect to the gable, and other details that contribute to the eclectic quality of this church.
The octafoil rose window is part of this memorial and tells the story of the Good Samaritan. It is set in a decorative cut-granite frame with a carved surround, and fixed-pane fittings with leaded stained glass panels.
The large, well-kept churchyard has many old graves, some dating back to the 18th century.
Location of St. Mary’s Church of Ireland, Bunclody: