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Virtual Tour

The Porch and Vestries

 

The Porch and Vestry room were originally built by Dean Dobbs in 1787 over the vault of the Dobbs family. It has been described by McSkimin as "unpretentious."

Among the objects to be studied in this porch particular attention is drawn to the Stone Cross on the ledge. When a search was being made below the present Holy Table in an attempt to place the subterraneous passage which was reputed to link the Church to the Franciscan Priory, this gable cross was discovered. One of its angles bears the date 1164. McSkimin, referring to Gill's manuscripts says, "It must, however, be observed that although this stone now bears the above date in plain figures, Mr. Gill says the date was 164."

The large iron ball was a bomb fired into Carrickfergus during the siege by the Duke of Schomberg in 1689. It was discovered when a grave was being dug in the Church-yard.

The present Choir Robing Vestry was the Clergy Vestry until 1961. The present Clergy Vestry stands on the site of the former War Memorial Bell Tower (since removed), which was built in 1922. This Bell Tower was discovered to be in a very dangerous condition in 1960 and had to be taken down.

The old Vestry has therefore been completely reconstructed with new roof, walls and windows. The Choir is robed in scarlet (a link with the royal charters granted to the Borough). In the Clergy Vestry beyond, the table is an Elizabethan reproduction and the chairs are Jacobean. The Clergy Vestry was built and Choir Vestry reconstructed in 1962 in memory of Bishop MacNeice, former Rector of the Parish.

 

 
St Nicholas Sketch