Newcastle Church

The history of Newcastle Church

The history of Newcastle Church is closely linked with that of the castle.

The first castle at Newcastle was built shortly after the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169. It was one of only two royal castles in the Dublin area, the other being Dublin Castle.
Newcastle in those days was centred on the castle and the church. It was a busy town with shops, streets, a gaol and a fairgreen.

Situated on the edge of the Pale and being the gateway south to Wicklow and Arklow, for hundreds of years it was the site of much conflict between the indigenous O'Byrnes and O'Tooles and the Anglo-Norman authorities.

Most of the area that we now know as Wicklow was administered from Newcastle until 1606 when the present County Wicklow came into existence (the last county to be shired).

Once that happened Newcastle became less important and gradually evolved into the small village that it is today.

From records available it would seem that there have been several churches on the present site.

The first church was built around 1189.

The next mention of a church is during the Rebellion of 1641 when it is reported as being "down except the chancel".

In 1697 work started on a church which was completed in 1722.

This does not seem to have been very successful and in 1783 it was decided to replace it.
This is the church that stands today and the main body of it was finished in 1788 at a total cost of £664.3s.2d.

The tower was added in 1821 and by 1856 the chancel and vestry were also in place.

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