SEPTEMBER 27, 2016
St Luke’s Church in the Coombe hasn’t really been used since it closed to the public in 1975.
The old place of worship – which was built between 1715 and 1716 – suffered a fire in 1986, and that’s the most activity its seen in the last few decades.
But at last week’s South Central Area Committee Meeting, Dublin City Council Heritage Officer Charles Duggan set out a new vision for the Dublin 8 ruin.
The council has plans to fully restore it, and to use the land around the site as a public space.
The Graveyard Aesthetic
The first and foremost thing to deal with will be the graveyard. “Anything we do must mitigate against any damage or interference with burials,” said Duggan.
Dublin City Council is heading up the “graveyard recovery” scheme with a view to creating a new pocket park and landscaping on the site.
In 1994, Dublin City Council purchased the site and the graveyard was split in two by a new road. What is now St Luke’s Avenue cut through the “Northern Graveyard” of the church. What’s left will form the site of the pocket park and features.
A decade later, a conservation plan was published for St Luke’s, which set out prerequisites for any future restoration or recovery of the site. Those include more soil to create a buffer between the graves underground, and the new plants and pathways.
A new boundary wall would run along St Luke’s Avenue with ramped access into the pocket park, a sunken garden with a seating area, and a pergola for small events.
The tender to restore the church building was already awarded back in 2006 to the St Luke’s Partnership, a team made up of Derek Tynan Architects and Carrig Conservation.
The proposal is essentially to insert a new building into the restored ruins of the church, to mix old and new. Continue reading