24 November 2008

Ballykelly, (also known as Kilmacree), Co. Wexford

Ballykelly Townland, just south of Wexford Town. Photographs and text provided by D.Murphy, NIAH. The alley is included on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage

The handball alley started out as Ballykelly Catholic Chapel, built in
1796. The chapel was closed pre-1858 when the parish priest had the
congregation move to the larger church at nearby Murntown. The chapel
is marked as in use on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey (1841),
and as disused on the second (1903) and third (1925) editions,
indicating that it was converted to use as a handball alley after 1925.
Adapting the chapel involved the reconstruction of some walls using
mass-concrete, although some sections of the original rubble stone walls

Interestingly, two markers or wall monuments survive, one on the
exterior and one on the interior. The dedication on the exterior
monument (1824; image 4) is as follows: "Gloria In Excelsis
Deo/IHS/Erected To The Memory Of/The Reverend Dennis Kenny Who/Departed
This Life The 21st Of/August 1824 Aged 38 Years/Requiescant In Pace

The dedication on the interior monument (1788; image 6) reads: "Pray
For Ned/Crowley 1788".


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