JENKINS LANE WHERE THE PRESENTATION SISTERS WERE FIRST ESTABLISHED IN WATERFORD – PLEASE DON’T DESTROY THE HISTORIC ARCHWAY ENTRANCE TO ST. JOHN’S CHURCH
During four day visit to Waterford I tried to visit St. John’s Church in order to photograph the interior but unfortunately there was major maintenance work underway. On the third day I made one final attempt and the entrance was totally blocked by a mechanical digger. I must admit that I was not at all confident that the historic archway would not be damaged.
St. John’s Church is of considerable significance as one of the earliest-surviving post-Reformation churches in Ireland. Comprehensively renovated and extended over the years, the church retains little of its original fabric to the exterior, although some of the early form remains intact. The church is particularly noteworthy for the quality of the interior, which incorporates artefacts of artistic importance, together with a circumferential gallery of technical interest. The church is a discrete feature of the townscape of Waterford City, and contributes to the historic fabric of the locality.
PLAQUE: “Here On Nov 6th 1798 The Presentation Sisters Established Their First School In Waterford”
The Presentation sisters arrived in Waterford in 1798. Originally the order had been invited to open a school in the city for the education of poor Catholic girls in 1795 by the then bishop Dr. William Egan. However due to lack of numbers this was not possible and therefore two women from Waterford, a widow named Margaret Power and her sister Miss Fanning went to Cork to be received into the order with a view to returning to Waterford to establish a school. Their first school was established beside St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and in 1800 the sisters moved to their new convent on Hennessy’s Road.
They remained here until 1848 when they moved to their final destination in the city – the convent on Slievekeale Road which was designed by the famous architect Pugin.