The Local Studies Section of the County Library, Tallaght has begun hosting a major collection of Quaker related documents, images and maps on our Source archive. Donated by Aidan Cruise, a local historian from Manor Kilbride, County Wicklow, the collection consists of unpublished documents, black and white photographs and property survey sheets dating from the late 1960’s as summarised below. The collection was part of an academic project carried out by the staff and students of the School of Architecture in Dublin Institute of Technology at Bolton Street.
A preliminary study entitled The Meeting Houses of the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland 1 by A.J. Walsh contains a general introduction to the function, form and design of Quaker Meeting Houses in general followed by synoptic descriptions of:
- Meath Place and Eustace Street Meeting Houses, Dublin City plus Monkstown, Churchtown and Rathfarnham Meeting Houses, Co. Dublin.
- Carlow Meeting House, Co. Carlow.
- CorkCity Meeting House, Bandon and Youghal Meeting Houses, Co. Cork.
- Ballytore (Ballitore) Meeting House, Co. Kildare.
- Mountmellick Meeting House, Co. Laois.
- Limerick City Meeting House.
- Clara, Birr and Edenderry Meeting Houses, Co. Offaly.
- Roscrea, Clonmel, Cahir and Carrick on Suir Meeting Houses, Co. Tipperary.
- WaterfordCity and Tramore Meeting Houses, Co. Waterford.
- Moate Meeting House, Co. Westmeath.
- Wexford Town, Colladine, Enniscorthy, Ballintore and New Ross Meeting Houses, Co. Wexford.
- Wicklow Meeting House, Co. Wicklow.
Many of these buildings are no longer places of worship and so this document offers the author’s uniquely personal snapshot in time of former and existing Quaker religious buildings which comprise an important element of our Irish heritage.
A second document entitled Friends Meeting Houses 2, considered to be authored by A.J. Walsh, contains a number of black and white photographs of the following meeting houses supported by manuscript text contextualising the images:
- Eustace Street and Meath Place, Dublin City, plus Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin.
- Wexford Town, Ballintore (Ferns), Cooladine (meeting house and burial ground), Enniscorthy and Forrest Co. Wexford.
In addition there are survey forms containing data on land use, occupancy, condition and other features of buildings and sites around the Quaker village of Ballitore (Ballytore) County Kildare. Most are dated 16th April 1969 and are thought to be related to 70 black and white photographs and numbered and annotated Ordnance Survey maps of Ballitore currently being uploaded to the SOURCE Quaker collection.
By hosting the material in the public domain the County Library hopes this initiative will attract contributions from others interested in Quaker history and religious buildings. As Ballitore, Co. Kildare dominates the collection, an interested party might consider studying the existing material and creating a local study, supplemented by additional primary and secondary source material.