Church of St Anne (Shandon)
|St. Anne's Church, Shandon|
Saint Anne's Church as seen from Church Street
|Location||Church of St. Anne Shandon, Church Street, Cork (city)|
|Denomination||Church of Ireland|
|Founded||1726 (current structure)|
|Parish||Cork, St. Anne's Shandon|
|Diocese||Cork, Cloyne and Ross|
The Church of St Anne is a Church of Ireland church located in the Shandon district of Cork city in Ireland. It is situated a top a hill overlooking the River Lee, and the church tower of is a noted landmark and symbol of the city. The church bells were popularised in song in the 19th century, and remain a visitor attraction.
The name Shandon comes from the Irish, Sean Dun, and means Old Fort. Shandon was one of 28 settlements in and around ancient Cork. A medieval church dedicated to St. Mary existed on this site and is mentioned in the decretals of Pope Innocent III in 1199 as "St. Mary on the Mountain". This church stood until the Williamite wars when the siege of Cork (1690) brought about its destruction. In 1693 this was replaced by a church, also dedicated to St. Mary, and was located at the bottom of Mallow Lane, modern day Shandon Street. Due to population growth, it was decided to build anew on this ancient site and so in 1722 the present Church of St. Anne, Shandon was constructed.
It is built with two types of stone; red sandstone from the original Shandon castle which stood nearby, and limestone taken from the derelict Franciscan Abbey which stood on the North Mall. As you approach Shandon, from all directions, you will see both coloured stone of red/white and such is the affection that Shandon holds in the hearts of the citizens of Cork that they designated both colours to represent the city.
The church of St. Anne attained full parochial status in 1772, when Rev. Arthur Hyde was appointed its first Rector. Arthur Hyde was the great-great-grandfather of Dr. Douglas Hyde, pioneer of the Gaelic revival and the first President of the Irish Free State.
The church is noted for its 8 bells  due to the song "The Bells of Shandon" by Francis Sylvester Mahony. The largest weighs a little over 1.5 tons and were created by Rudhall of Gloucester. To reduce vibration, they were placed in a fixed position. They first rang on December 7, 1752. They have been recast twice: both in 1865 and 1906. Today, visitors can climb to the first floor and ring the bells themselves.
The original inscriptions are retained on each bell:
- When us you ring we'll sweetly sing
- God preserve the Church and King
- Health and prosperity to all our benefactors
- Peace and good neighbourhood
- Prosperity to the city and trade thereof
- We were all cast at Gloucester in England by Abel Rudhall 1750
- Since generosity has opened our mouths our tongues shall sing aloud its praise
- I to the Church the living call and to the grave do summon all
The walls of the building are 2 m (7 ft) thick and the height to the tower is 36.5 m (120 ft). This is extended a further 15 m (50 ft) for the "pepper pot" adornment on the tower. The McOsterich family were involved with the design and erection of this tower and to this day a special privilege is afforded them. Whenever a member of the family marries, anywhere in the world, the bells ring out in their honour. On top of this pepper pot is a weather vane in the form of a salmon, representing the fishing of the River Lee. It is an appropriate sign to have on top of a church, as in the earliest Christian days a fish was used as a symbol for the name of the Lord.
The clock of the tower is known to Corkonians as "The Four Faced Liar". This is attributed to the fact that, depending on the angle of the viewer, the time shown appears slightly different on each face during the hour. The reason for this is that the numbers on the faces are made of wood and gilded, with some of the wood being thicker than others, and so some hands stick when they reach these numbers> However, on the hour, the hands all come together on each face.
The Christening Font, dated 1629, is a relic from the Church destroyed in the siege of Cork in 1690 and bears the inscription, "Walter Elinton and William Ring made this pant (the Anglo-Saxon word for Font) at their charges". Within is a pewter bowl dated 1773.
- Church Of St. Anne - Home
- "1726 - St. Anne's, Shandon, Cork - Architecture of Cork City". Archiseek.com. 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Tours of the Bells of Shandon in Cork City, The Church of St Annes in Cork City, Things to Do in Cork City". Discoveringcork.ie. 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- Church of Ireland Parish of St. Anne-Shandon
- Shandon Bells and Tower, St. Anne's Church
- Bells of Shandon being sung á capella in the Church of St. Anne of Shandon