HISTORY OF THE PARISH

The parish of Carrig-On-Bannow is steeped in history. Ballymitty, as a part of the parish, is also rich in local and ecclesiastical history. The site of a Norman church was located near Knocktarton, not far from the present church in Hilltown. It was about 1799 or 1800 that a thatched chapel was built at Hilltown, replacing an earlier Mass-house at Tullicanna. This thatched chapel was accidentally burned in 1835.

 

The present church at Ballymitty, dedicated to St Peter, was built in 1837. It is a barn-type church with classical interior, having a simple choir gallery and an impressive square belfry tower, surmounted by a cross, the ground floor of which forms the entrance porch. There is a handsome patterned wooden ceiling. Behind the altar is a beautiful reredos of Italian influence, executed by the Maddock brothers of Bannow, featuring a large painting of “The descent from Calvary”. Similar altarpieces can be seen in the Augustinian churches in New Ross and Grantstown, and also in the church at Myshall, Co. Carlow. The classical motif is repeated in the design of the tabernacle with its broken pediment and dome.

There are four lancet windows on each side; the one on the right-hand side of the sanctuary has been truncated by the building of a more recent sacristy. This window features the logo of the Millennium Jubilee Year 2000. The windows at the sanctuary end of the church depict, on the left, the  Immaculate Conception, the Sacred Heart, and, on the right, St Patrick. The other windows contain symbolic representations of titles, in Latin, of Our Lady: Gate of Heaven, Mirror of Justice, Arc of the Covenant and Seat of Wisdom. Two of these windows are obscured by the gallery.

A tablet on the exterior of the tower, over the entrance, gives the dedication and date of the church.

© 2020 by Saint Peter's Church, Ballymitty.