|Church of the Holy Trinity - Allen|
When the Rev. Eugene O’Reilly decided to build a new church in Allen, he appointed John Sterling Butler as architect. Butler was one of the foremost ecclesiastical architects of his time and the catalogue of his works is most impressive – churches, convents, great houses etc. all over Ireland. He was elected Dublin City Architect on 1st October 1866. His works in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin include:
The cut stone, Gothic Revival church in Allen was put out to tender in June 1866 with the closing date for acceptance of tenders as 12th October 1866. Construction work began in early 1867 and the church is described in “A Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland 1837 –1921” by Jeremy Williams, as follows:
“Cut Stone Revival Church built in 1866 to the designs of J.S. Butler. Plate tracery in the façade and the adjoining belfry. Detached colonettes articulate the fenestration of the side elevations. Sculptural capitals remain incomplete. Simple interior apart from the painting and mosaics of the polygonal apse. Stained glass by Earley.”
The church is built of dressed limestone and has an octagonal spire atop a square tower. It was completed in 1869 at a cost of £4,000 and the first Mass was celebrated in the new church on Easter Sunday 1872.
The cross on the steeple was made locally by Michael Dempsey, blacksmith, the grandfather of Sheila Dooley, Skew Bridge, Allenwood South.
The bell was cast in James’s St Foundry, Dublin, and placed in the Belfry in 1891.