A Tramore Landmark

The feature of Tramore that you see long before you reach the town from pretty much any direction is the steeple of the Roman Catholic Church ~ The Church of the Holy Cross.

Holy Cross Church on Tramore Skyline at Sunset

I was Baptized in this church back in 1957 ~ and even though I’m no longer a believer, I love the building as it is such a part of the town that I proudly call ‘home.’  Speaking of ‘home,’ the church is very close to where we live and I have a full view of the steeple just standing in the kitchen.

The foundation stone for the Holy Cross Church, which was designed by Mr. J.J. McCarthy,  was laid in 1856 and the tower and spire were completed in 1871. Before that time, a thatched chapel close to the existing church served the people of Tramore.

The Holy Cross Church reminds me somewhat of the sea as its appearance changes very much depending on the light and I find myself drawn to it in all weathers and at different times of the day and year.

The Holy Cross in Early Morning Light

The Church has a Rose Window which was supplied by Messrs. Meyer of Munich and it is quite stunning from both inside and out:

The Rose Window at Sunset

Here’s how it looks from the inside:

The Stained Glass Rose Window 

The colour of the brick work is ever changing and I love its warmth in the evening sun


as well as its shapeliness when viewed from the side against a blue sky:


Tramore has a population of around 10,500 people and it is a source of constant fascination to me that it should have a church that it so imposing.

Soaring Spire

What sort of church building is part of ‘your’ home place? 








Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

36 thoughts on “A Tramore Landmark”

  1. Ottawa has a plethora of old stone churches. The oldest and biggest is Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

    That said, a lot of the geography around Ottawa is farm land (or forest ) with small rural communities from 500-5,000 people. In the past these small communities -usually at crossroads, were farming hubs where crops were sold and supplies and equipment purchased. As such these small communities also acted as the social, religious and political hubs of the area, often containing a huge stone church that was built with the efforts of the whole area, The church was almost always the largest building in the town and was a point of pride for the town.

    As you mentioned about Tramore Jean, it always seems so surreal to have such a huge stone building in an area with a small population. My wife and I used to often go for a Sunday drive (when the kids were old enough to leave alone – teens) and seek out these big stone churches in the countryside and take pictures (she has them all). Some have fallen in disrepair and some have been sold, but the legacy lives on.

    1. I had to mention this one at Wilno (population -4,200) – Canada’s first Polish settlement with a catholic church called St. Mary’s:

      1. Thanks Jean – fascinating topic. I have found that any time I use more than one picture or web address in a comment it generally goes to the posters spam box. Needless to say, yours is not the first response I have received to a comment made some time before. I know better but some topics are just better as pictures or references. O-o o-O

  2. This church is very impressive looking..I have always loved stain glass windows. Our church features stain glass windows on both sides, and a beautiful altar. It’s been ages since I have been an antendee..we all have our reasons don’t we. One of the prettiest churches was down In South Carolina in the city of Charleston. We had visited there and pictures were taken. Charleston is a beautiful city with all the historic old homes.

  3. I think we were born in the same year, 1957. I’m from Dundalk but am now living in Youghal, on the border of CorkWaterford, so we’re not a million miles apart. I found your blog through reading Paul’s story on Blog-woman (Robyn) and I’ve been enjoying some of your posts. Nice to meet you.

    1. Hi Jean, thanks very much for writing. It sounds like we have more than our name in common! I lived in Drogheda for my teenage years so Dundalk was very much on our map then,
      Amazing how we should meet via Paul ~ one of my heroes too!

  4. Well…. I was baptised at the Holy Cross Church in Boucherville, as were my three boys… However, MY Holy Cross is an ugly little bungalow!!!
    Yours is magnificent!

    1. Hi Dale, I was only thinking about you this morning and wondering how you were.
      What a coincidence about the same name for both our churches.
      Yes, ours is pretty spectacular by any standard.

  5. Beautiful photos of the church in Tramore, Jean. I think they occupy a central part of towns and so become a central part of hearts and minds, for good or ill. We were baptised in them and mostly we will shuffle off this mortal coil with the penitential prayers of a congregation that occupy those hallowed walls. I’ll be glad of those prayers – I need them.
    (Hope you got my e-mail)

    1. Hi John, yes I got your email, thanks and will be writing soon. Was delighted to hear from you.
      Yes, churches are a key feature of our towns.
      I certainly don’t think you need those prayers half as much as most people!!

    1. It is a stunning building and I have to say that the light enhances it rather than the photos.
      The inside is nice and simple but I prefer the outside as it is all around me, if that makes any sense.

  6. The architecture is similar with my favorite Church where I go in US, thus very different from the one of my native town. I love your Tramore, Jean! Only 10500 people, my type! 🙂

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