NOW THE PEARSE LYONS DISTILLERY AND VISITOR CENTRE
I attended an event, relating to AI, which was organised by Virgin Media and as a result I had an opportunity to photograph some of the old graveyard at St. James’ Church but I only had a very small camera [Sony RX0]. Note: The date and time settings were out by a year so be aware that I visited in 2023 not in 2022.
St. James’ Church is a former Church of Ireland church in James’s Street, Dublin, Ireland. Established in 1707, the corresponding parish, which was separated from that of nearby St. Catherine’s, was established in 1710. There had been a shrine dedicated to St. James at nearby St. James’s Gate, a stopping-off point for pilgrims, since medieval times. It has been proposed that the current church is near to the site of a church to St. James of Compostella which is first referred to in the mid-13th century.
The existing church building dates from 1859 and was designed by Joseph Welland (1798–1860). It is the burial place of the Rev. John Ellis, for 34 years vicar of this parish, and of William Ellis, governor of Patna, India, who was killed during a war there in 1763.
In 2014, the church was bought by Pearse Lyons and converted into a distillery and visitor centre.
Thomas Pearse Lyons (3 August 1944 – 8 March 2018) was an Irish businessman and the founder and President of Kentucky-based Alltech Inc., an American animal health and nutrition company that is centred on innovation, research and development. Lyons was considered an “entrepreneur, salesman, marketer and scientist all rolled into one”, and was widely regarded in the agribusiness sector as an innovator and industry leader.
Although the present church only dates to the 18th century, there are records of burials as early as 1495 and it is believed that the cemetery may have been in use as early as the 13th century. Back in 2019 I was unable to explore the cemetery as it was overgrown and not accessible to the public. It is owned by the Dublin city council, and community efforts are underway to revive the tradition of annual cleaning and decoration.
In the centre of the cemetery is the monument of Sir Theobald Butler (1650-1720), of the Butlers of Ballyline, a prominent barrister who served as Solicitor General for Ireland and assisted in framing the articles of the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, and who advocated the Roman Catholic cause before Parliament. His monument has a Latin epitaph stating that it was erected by his eldest son “to the best of fathers.” Since Butler was a Catholic, it is noteworthy that the Church of Ireland made no objection to his being buried in St. James’. The monument was restored by Colonel Augustus Butler D.L. of County Clare, his descendant in the fourth generation, in 1876.
Sir Mark Rainsford, Mayor of Dublin and owner of the brewery which was sold to Arthur Guinness, was buried in St James in 1709. Also buried here is Sergeant-Major John Lucas, VC, who died 4 March 1892 and Sir William Haldane-Porter founder of the UK Immigration Service, who died in 1944.
Across the road from the church, in the middle of the road, is the Fountain, an obelisk with 4 sundials with a drinking fountain at its base, built in 1790 by the Duke of Rutland, the Lord Lieutenant