The Great Exhibition, opened by Queen Victoria in 1851, was one of largest international exhibitions showcasing industrial design, technology and fine arts from all corners of the world.

One of the small number of Irish stone exhibits was a large carved granite baptismal font from Co. Wicklow. According to the Dublin Evening Packet in 1851 the baptismal font, cut from a single block of granite from Woodend Quarry in Blessington was one of the “most interesting specimens” in its class. This baptismal font was produced by Patrick Olligan, a stone mason and quarry owner at Ballyknockan who supplied granite for churches in both Wicklow and Dublin. 

Unfortunately, there is no record (or picture) of what happened to the baptismal font after the exhibition. Assuming that the font was commissioned and intended for use then it is possible that the font still waits discovery in an Irish church. If anyone has any information on the font please contact


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *