The Scots’ Church, which is the Presbyterian Church in Carlow town, Ireland is located on the Athy Road in Carlow. Presbyterianism is a Christian religion which has its origins in the protestant reformation of the 16th century. John Calvin, the French theologian, led the development of Reformed theology. John Knox from Scotland studied with Calvin in Geneva and brought the teachings of Calvin back to Scotland. Presbyterianism was brought to Ireland in the early 1600’s and the Presbytery of Ulster was created in 1642. Today the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is an All-Ireland organisation with a membership of around 300,000 people.
Though a congregation may have existed in Carlow in the mid 1600’s it ceased to exist around 1750. A Mr Cox, who was a businessman in Carlow, brought about the re-establishment of a Presbyterian congregation in 1816. . At first the Methodist Church was used by the congregation as place of worship but in 1818 they decided to build their own church.
The new church was designed by Mr Thomas Cobden who also designed many public buildings, private residences and churches in the Carlow/Wexford area. These include Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow and the Church Of The Holy Cross, Killeshin. The foundation stone for the Scots Church, which would take over a year to build, was laid on June 18th 1818. The church had its own minister until 1936. On December 31st of that year Rev. James Black retired and this was followed by the union of the Carlow congregation with that of Athy, Co Kildare.
The Presbyterian Church in Carlow, Ireland, known locally as Scots Church, was opened for worship by the Rev James Homer in the year 1819 On This Day.
Scots’ Church Carlow