This website hopes to serve as a repository for recording the work of the nineteenth-century English architect George Goldie in Ireland. Although born in York, Goldie was involved in the resurgence of Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building after the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. His earliest work in Ireland was begun in 1855 – St. Nathy’s Cathedral in Ballaghadereen, in Co. Roscommon and part of the Catholic Diocese of Achonry – while he was still a partner in the London architectural firm of Hadfield and Goldie. Goldie would continue to build in Ireland throughout the mid-nineteenth-century and examples of his work are to be found from Dublin to Waterford, Cork to Limerick and in Sligo, Mayo, Tipperary and north as far as Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
Goldie was not, or at least not now in the twenty-first century, a headline architect in the mould of Pugin and Burgess; he might and indeed did suggest that this was due to close family connections between Irish and English architects and their connections with the local Catholic hierarchy. Tellingly, unlike many other architects, Goldie was very much a Catholic architect not just an architect that built Catholic churches and convents. In his biographical outline it can be seen that he was a ‘cradle Catholic’ with a strong Catholic pedigree from both his parents and his siblings would be active in the Roman Catholic church in Great Britain as members of the clergy.
Goldie’s work in Ireland is only a partial record of his output; he designed churches and convents in France, South Africa, the United States and, of course Great Britain. The architect was baptised in St. Wilfrid’s in York and would go on to be the architect for the same church’s rebuilding in 1862.