In 1826 a visitor described the pre-reformation St Mary’s Old Church as an:
“…unadorned but neat building with a modest little belfry and white washed walls.”
In 1830 the church population was 1,898 parishioners, and plans for a new church were first drawn up by James Pain, Architect to the Board of First Fruits for the Province of Munster. By 1837 the population had risen to 15,252 parishioners, but no further action was taken on the new church until 1850 when Joseph Welland, Architect for the Ecclesiastical Commissioners took over the plans. He altered them very slightly by adding the vestry and choir porches.
An Act of Privy Council for change of site was granted by Queen Victoria in the 6th year of her reign and the church was completed in 1853. St Mary’s Old Church was closed in August 1845 and Holy Trinity was consecrated on 3rd September of that year. The Rector of the new church was the Revd. John Triphook who had been the curate of St. Mary’s from 1826 but who lived in Ballydehob with his first wife, Mary Mercy Jane, whom he married in 1842. They had two sons and one daughter, Jane Anne.
On the death of the previous Rector, Revd. Robert Trail, who died of famine fever, John Triphook moved to the Rectory in Schull. He was married again 1848 to Jane Ellesmere Noble and on her death in 1881 he resigned from the Rectorship but continued to live at the Rectory until his death in 1888. Triphook had built Grove House for his daughter Jane Anne but on the death of her stepmother she came to live with her father at the Rectory until she predeceased him in early 1888. The new Rector, Revd. Thomas Courtenay Abbot, occupied Grove House until the Rectory became available.
A story of Bells
Holy Trinity Church has had two bells in its history. In 1890 the bell became damaged and had to be sent for repair. Its inscription read “For the Glory of God – Revd, John Triphook, Rector, 1859.” In 1907 this bell was replaced. The new bell carried the inscription “Sursum Corda – Cast and erected 1907.” It rang out for the first time on 6th July 1907. When the original bell was taken down in 1907 it was stored in the Rectory stables and was later moved to the porch of the church where it languished for many years.
In 1997 it came to the attention of the Rector, Canon Hilary Wakeman, that a new Catholic Church was being built by Fr. Michael Doohan of the Missionary Society of St. Columba in Dancalan in the Philippines. The building did not include a belfry as they had no bell. It was decided to give them the bell, and Fr. Peadar O’Loughlin PP made the arrangements. When Fr. Doohan heard they were to receive this gift he had a belfry specially designed to house the bell, and in gratitude the people of Dancalan sent a tape recording of the bell ringing in its new home.
“Quite a gem” –
This is how B.C. Shepherd & Sons of Middlesex described the Flight and Robson (London) organ when it was being retuned in 1994. High praise indeed for an organ that had served the Church for 113 years.
It was installed in Holy Trinity Church in 1889 in memory of Revd. John Triphook, who had been Rector for a total of 34 years.
The organ was originally in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork which at that time was the same size as Holy Trinity. When the Chapter decided to rebuild the Cathedral in 1865 they ordered a new organ and donated their old one to Schull. The organ was restored and renovated by Neiland and Associates of Wexford in 1995 and was re-dedicated in 1996.
To find you way to Holy Trinity at Schull you will find an interactive map here
An induction loop system is installed in this Church