St Jude's Old Church, Camlough

Map Reference: J039267 (3039, 3267)

One source says that St Jude's Church was built in 1772 and the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of the mid-1830s suggest that it was built about 1774. One noteable architect of that time was Thomas Cooley. He designed many Church of Ireland parish churches for Archbishop Robinson in the latter half of the 18th century. Some of his drawings have survived and a typical design is a rectangular hall with a west tower. There is no evidence that Cooley designed this church but it is typical of his work and the designer may have been influenced by Cooley. Similar churches are found all over Ireland. Grander examples include transepts and aisles, many of which were added in the 19th century. St Jude's could accommodate 168 people in 28 seats. It measures about 14m by 7m and is built of coursed rubble with granite quoins.

The three south windows have stone Y-tracery but there is no indication of tracery in the north windows.

There was a large east window which contains no remains of tracery and is now partly blocked.

There is a north doorway at the base of the three-storey west tower. This arrangement of windows and doorway suggest that the prevailing weather was mainly from the south.

Only a few memorials remain in the graveyard. At least two of them are of the blue-grey granodiorite known as Bessbrook Granite. This church was abandoned in 1883 when the Church of Christ the Redeemer was opened in Bessbrook.

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