Cork Past & Present
Cork's history, culture, places, people, and events
The present day St. Francis Church may be seen framed between the north-western corner of Cork city Courthouse and the old Broad Lane Church. Its foundation stone was laid on 2 August 1949. The occasion was marked by the celebration of solemn high mass. Bishop Cornelius Lucey opened St. Francis Church on 14 July 1953.
The church is built of red brick in the Byzantine style.
Stephen S. Kelly and Alfred E. Jones were the architects. The building rests on three hundred piles, some to a depth of 10.5 metres or thirty-five feet. Its interior is one of the most magnificent of any church in Cork, spacious, full of light and decorated with beautiful mosaics. Umberto Noni, an Italian artist, designed much of the artwork. Commendatore Tullio Monticelli executed the designs of Noni.
The present day friary stands on the site of old Broad Lane Church. Workmen discovered a part of the old wall of Cork while preparing the for the building of the friary in 1954. They also found an inscribed stone, which reads:
‘Made at Cork i anno Dni 1586 XXIII June -:
Thy sagred Name O Lorde
Engrave within my breast
Sith therein doth consist
My weal and onlie rest'
The stone is now part of the wall of the friary.
A photograph of the partially built St. Francis Church during the early 1950s.