A new lease of life for a 220-year-old
Saint George’s Arts and Heritage Centre
A new lease of life
Saint George’s Arts and Heritage Centre is located in the former Church of Ireland parish church in Mitchelstown, Ireland. Saint George's was deconsecrated in August 2017. Saint George's is owned by a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. It purchased the building from the Church of Ireland in April 2019.
The Board of Directors are conserving the building which has been converted into a dynamic venue for a wide range of arts, cultural, heritage, tourism and civic-based activities including a dedicated archive and library. To achieve this goal, we are raising €1.3 million. In June 2020, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht allocated €116,000 towards the cost of re-roofing the entire building, of which the total cost was €245,000.
Also in 2021, with the help of grant aid from the Heritage Council, we made the building wheelchair accessible. We also received funding from Cork County Council to provide new accessible toilets. We have also, with the help of the Irish Georgian Society, undertaken restoration on one of the wooden gothic windows of the building. Other works currently underway include completion of restoration work to the oldest and most important window in the building 'the Gallery window,' an electrical upgrade, installation of heating and completion of restoration works to the former shchoolroom which is being converted into a reception. Subject to funding through grants, we are hoping in 2022 to commence repointing the external walls of the building, which are in urgent need of restoration.
We are the premier performing arts venue north of Cork cite, and we also host conferences and civil weddings.
To date, we have spent €500,000 on restoring Saint George's of which 50% has been grant aided by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Cork County Council, the Heritage Council, Tourism Ireland, the Irish Georgian Society and others. Our conservation budget for 2022 is €100,000. To help fund all this work, we have raised over €W100,000 in loans from Clann Credo - Community Finance Ireland. We are involved in continuous efforts to raise funds and welcome donations however big or small.
Saint George's is a three-minute drive from Junction 13 on the M8 - 40 minutes from Cork - 30 minutes from the Rock of Cashel - 15 minutes from Fermoy - 30 minutes from Mallow. Visitors welcome by appointment.
€1.3 million restoration project
Saint George’s is available to anyone interested in the arts, culture and heritage. It is also available for other activities including civil marriages, conferences and meetings. The former church is owned by a not-for-profit company, which is actively developing the centre as Mitchelstown's cultural and historic venue.
The first phase of the project has included cleaning external facades, internal restoration of the steeple, interior re-decoration and various repairs and improvements to facilities. The roof has undergone any significant refurbishment since 1884 and loses slates regularly, so this is a priority for future funding.
As part of the project, the main body (nave) of Saint George’s is being used as an exhibition space for creative arts, photography, sculpture and other arts-related activities. We hope to attract a very wide range of exhibitions by local, national and international craftspeople.
If you are interested in running arts or similar creative activities in please contact us.
The centre is a focal point for historical, genealogical, cultural and heritage events. An interactive interpretive area will tell the story of the region over the centuries. Topics will include the development of the town, the Galtee Mountains and the history of Mitchelstown Castle and the Kingston estate.
This dedicated space will also provide a permanent display for the priceless coats of arms of Mitchelstown Castle.
Saint George’s will become a unique focal point for theatrical, dramatic and musical activities including Irish song music and dance.
Our first event was a choral night on 18th May 2019 which was led by the Lismore Choir and Eamonn Walsh, who is one of Ireland’s new and upcoming singers. The concert was the first of a number of very successful events at Saint George's
Saint George’s is available for civil weddings and funerals. It is also an unique venue for conferences, business and community meetings, lectures and other activities where a special space is needed.
Please note that religious ceremonies are not allowed in Saint George's. Catering is available by request.