St. Bride’s Church & National School
The Dublin Improvement (Bull Alley Area Act) of 1899 empowered Edward Cecil Guinness to:
“purchase, acquire and take compulsorily or by agreement the land, houses, and buildings and property or any part thereof situated in the parishes of St. Bridget’s, St. Nicholas Without and Saint Patrick’s.”
Edward would compensate the landholders – however, clearing one corner of the site would be a more delicate operation. St. Bride’s Church, graveyard and national school occupied the corner of Bride Street and Bride Road, approximately where Blocks E and F of the Bull Alley scheme now stand.
The Church of Ireland parish, also known as St. Bridget’s, had seen a steady decline in the number of parishioners since its heyday in the mid-1700s. Declining parishioners meant declining resources and the forlorn St. Bride’s had fallen into a perilous condition, finally closing in 1898 to make way for the Bull Alley scheme.
The original St. Bride’s was an ancient Irish church dating from the 1100s, located close to the current site. The final incarnation was built in 1684 by Rector Nathaniel Foy and remained part of the Dublin streetscape for some 214 years.
The Church of Ireland was required to sell the ruinous church and graveyard to Edward; it was necessary that the "remains of any person interred or deposited" in the graveyard were to "be removed under the superintendence of the medical officer of health for the time being of the city of Dublin and re-interred in any consecrated burial ground".
A list of the original tombstones inscriptions and names of those buried at St. Bride's was compiled as a record, a copy of which is maintained in the Iveagh Trust's private archive. (1)
(1) Extract from: O’Reilly, Chloe, The Iveagh Trust of Dublin: A Constructed Community 1899 - 1939, PhD Thesis, (Trinity College Dublin, 2019), page 147.
Church Rebuilt1684 by Nathaniel Foy