St Mary’s was built in 1825 with a loan of £1250 from the Board of First Fruits. The church is interesting for its unique features.
The site of the church is quite striking occupying a little hill overlooking the river and set apart from the hill on which the main street of the village is built.
The church has a tall slender spire which is very striking, especially when viewed from the river bank near the Fermoy road. There are some interesting windows in the tower.
Inside the church, which, while compact, gives an impression of spaciousness, there are plaques to many local families who served the administration and the armies of the British Empire all over the world. The statesman, Dr Martin Manseragh is a descendant of one of these families.
George Burke, the brother of Edmund Burke, is buried in the graveyard.
How to Find us
St Mary’s Church
5 Shinnick Pl,
A beautifully situated village on the Awbeg River a mile or so north of where it enters the Blackwater River. The village has grown up just north of a dramatically placed castle, Castlewindenham, which occupies a towering outcrop of rock overlooking the river. This castle gave the village its name because it was originally a seat of the Roche’s, Norman conquerors and settlers in the area. It was successfully defended against Oliver Cromwell’s armies by the Lady Roche of the time, her husband being on the run accused of being a Royalist outlaw.
Nearby is the well preserved and presented 13th century Bridgetown Abbey founded again by the Roche’s near a ford on the Blackwater. It was home to Augustinian Priors of the congregation of St. Victor. Again the setting is one of sheer beauty.
A most interesting collection of exotic plants from all over the world grow at Annesgrove Gardens on the Awbeg river, just north of the village. They are on view to visitors from Easter to the Autumn but are best viewed in early spring.
Castletownroche had a moment of glory again in September 1999 when the annual National Ploughing Championships were held on the farm of Mr Eddie Farrell. Despite very wet weather and muddy conditions underfoot the championships were marked by a wonderful atmosphere of friendliness and co-operation and were hailed as a great success!