Pearse Lyons Distillery is truly history in the remaking. St. James’ Church dates back to the 12th century. The present church was constructed in 1859–1860 in a Gothic design with a cross shape, a tower and a spire at the southwest corner. In 1948, the top 30 feet of the church spire was removed due to structural problems. The church was then closed for worship following a decline in the number of parishioners in 1963. It underwent various transformations, including becoming a lighting store and a food warehouse, until finally being renovated as you see it today.
We have depicted our story through Irish artisan stained glass windows that illuminate the distillery interior. The illustrations depicted on the windows include: the pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago, also known as “St. James’ Way”; how Irish Whiskey is made; the art of coopering; and the natural ingredients grown for our “uisce beatha” (Irish for “water of life,” another name for whiskey).
Along our restoration journey, we have uncovered many curious stories that bring the past to life. They give us a deeper sense of the social, civil and historical impact of The Liberties.
We have uncovered a wealth of knowledge from the graveyard. The headstones shed light on the trades that The Liberties welcomed in the past. Tradesmen and women who worked as coopers, distillers, linen merchants, shoemakers, bakers, bishops and soldiers have all found a resting place here at St. James’ Church alongside many members of our family.
This is a new beginning for St. James’ Church as a boutique, working distillery that will welcome visitors to discover its vibrant and colourful history.