Welcome to Trinity

Presbyterian Church, Cork

History

The idea of God as ‘Trinity’ – three in one – ‘overflowing with love’ was important to Scottish people in Cork in the early 19th century.  They met previously in Tuckey St and Marlboro St. and a church building was erected in 1840 in Queen St. (Fr. Matthew St.) The present building at Summerhill North was opened in 1861.

Somewhat more elaborate in design than many Presbyterian buildings, main features are its lack of pillars ensuring complete visibility of the pulpit and the three stained glass windows in honour of the God the Trinity.  It was designed by the English architect, Colin Tarring, who was responsible for many non conformist church buildings in England including Westminster Chapel, Buckingham Gate, London.

There was a proposal to put a bell in the steeple but the matter was deferred because of the cost of £9.

Why is the steeple at an angle? One suggestion is that the builders considered they were not paid enough and so built it this way deliberately and it was not discovered until after all the scaffolding was removed. Experts say it is due to weathering of the mortar.

Funds were raised by charging rents on the pews in the new Trinity church, which is why the pews were numbered with places for name cards at the end of each pew.  Some decided to continue in the previous Queen St congregation (closed in 1928) where gifts were made by a free offering, the system we still use.

In 1863 the Carmichael School for boys was opened at the bottom of Summerhill North. It was later merged with a girls’ school and Lecture Hall (1874) as the Summerhill National School which closed in 1968.

In 1904 the organ was installed by the Cork organ builders Magahy.  This is an unusual design, being split on either side of the stained glass window at the rear of the church.

Julie Feeney, (composer and singer of ‘pages’ and ‘13 songs’) played the organ here in the 1990s while at UCC and has said. “In my teen years it was truly a very special experience to play the organ every Sunday at Trinity Presbyterian.  I loved it there. ”


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