St MacCullins Church – A Tale of 3 Buildings

The good people of Lusk in north County Dublin where well ahead of the curve when it comes to fusing together architectural styles. The building that makes up their town church spans 10 centuries. A cool 1000 years.

St MacCullins set up camp in the area around 450AD. All thats left of any early christian settlement is a 9th Century round tower…and  we can thank the marauding Vikings for getting that built.

Along came the Normans in the 15th Century and they saw the monks and their round tower and then raised them one Tower House.

Up close you can see that the Tower House was built flush up against the round tower (on the left below) without disturbing it…and with an eye on aesthetic’s, they made it blend in.

This 1781 sketch shows the site with a small church along side the round tower.

Thats was replaced 70 years later in 1847 by Cork architect Joseph Welland saw potential and built his church onto the side of the Tower House completing the structure we see today. Joseph was the go to guy for church design. His credits include churches in Portrush, Delgany, Bandon, Gorey, Ballinasloe, Dun Laoghaire, Clones

The tomb in the foreground above is the Echlin Tomb, built for Robert Echlin with the epitaph:

Here lies a man without pretence,
Blessed with plain reason and common sense,
Calmly he looked on either life and here
Saw nothing to regret or there to fear.
From nature’s temperate feast rose satisfied
Thanked Heaven that he lived, and that he died.

However his wife is more well known  in literature for her correspondence with novelist Samuel Richardson and again for her alternative ending to the masterpiece novel, Clarissa (also called The History of a Young Lady by Richardson). After Roberts death,  she returned to her native UK never to set foot in Ireland again its believed.


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