Old Barn Church c1900 Courtesy of the Lawrence Collection
Chapel Street is so called as it is the location of the main Catholic Church in Castlebar. Although the Penal Laws had been relaxed, Catholic churches could not hold prominent positions such as in town centres so a site outside the town was chosen by Fr Egan who built a barn-like structure in 1800. A year earlier he had been made Parish Priest of the newly amalgamated Castlebar Parish that consisted of Aglish, Breaffy and Ballyheane. In 1901 the church that exists today, the Church of the Holy Rosary was built. Because of the superiority of the Anglican Church over the Catholic Church until Catholic Emancipation in the 1820s, Catholic churches were referred to as Chapels; they were smaller and had no bell or spire. The lower part of Chapel Street is sometimes referred to as ‘Newline’ simply because a new row of houses was built there.