Skip to main content

McCarthy, James Joseph

McCarthy, James Joseph (1817–82). Arguably Ireland's greatest Gothic Revival architect, called the ‘Irish Pugin’. Dublin-born, he flourished during the impressive building-programme of the Irish RC Church after ‘Catholic Emancipation’ (1829), designing in a robust First and Second Pointed style, following the lead of Pugin and the Ecclesiologists in England.

He may have been in England during the early 1840s, but in 1846 work started on his Church of St Kevin, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. In a severe First Pointed style, it was the first attempt by a native-born Irish architect to build a church on Ecclesiological principles. McCarthy was one of the three joint-secretaries of the Irish Ecclesiological Society, founded in 1849, and he published Suggestions on the Arrangement and Characteristics of Parish Churches (1851). In 1853 he was appointed Architect to the Armagh RC Cathedral in succession to Thomas Duff of Newry, Co. Down. Although the building was well advanced, McCarthy abandoned Duff's Perpendicular for Second Pointed in accordance with Ecclesiological preferences, added the two western steeples, omitted the crossing-tower, and increased the pitch of the roof. In the process he changed the character from English to French Gothic, reflecting his growing Irish Nationalism by adopting non-English exemplars, even though the stylistically earlier work on top of stylistically later architecture is visually absurd. He built many churches in Dublin (St Saviour's, Dominic Street, is the finest) and Co. Kerry, drawing on the great wealth of Irish ecclesiastical remains for the elements of his designs. Occasionally he made forays into Romanesque revival, as at the chapel, Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin (finished 1878), and the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles, Co. Tipperary (1865–72), but most of his work is assured Continental Gothic, as at St Patrick's, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone (1870–6), the Chapel, Maynooth College, Co. Kildare (1875–1903), and St Macartan's Cathedral, Monaghan (1861–92).

Bibliography

Sheehy (1977);
Jane Turner (1996)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"McCarthy, James Joseph." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"McCarthy, James Joseph." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mccarthy-james-joseph

"McCarthy, James Joseph." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved August 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mccarthy-james-joseph

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.