042 The Free Church, Great Charles Street, 1970
The Free Church was built by the Methodists in 1800 and was initially known as 'Wesley Chapel'. In 1816 a group called the Primitive Wesleyan Methodists split from the Methodist Church and the Wesley Church fell into their hands. However, the building was too large for their members who moved to a new location at Langrishe Place, Summerhill. The landlord Bennet Dugdale refused to allow it to be sold to Catholics and it was bought by the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin William Magee and reconsecrated in 1828. A 'free church' is one where no pew debts are paid and depends entirely on voluntary subscription. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Summerhill and its immediate environs was considered to be the best area of the city. The nineteenth century saw a gradual but constant migration of the upper classes from this area to the suburbs of Rathmines and Rathgar. By the 1900s the area was noted for its poverty. The last service was held at the 'Free Church' in 1988.
This photo is from the Dublin City Council Photographic Collection. This unique collection is an educational resource and provides a basis for original research on the history of Dublin from the second half of the twentieth century.