Christ Church Cathedral (or, more formally, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity ) is the cathedral in the United diocese of Dublin and Glendalough and the cathedral of the ecclesiastical province in the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the Church of Ireland. [1] It is located in Dublin, Ireland , and is the older of the capital’s two medieval cathedrals, the other being St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Overview and History


Christ Church is officially claimed as the seat ( cathedra ) of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. In law and in fact has been the cathedral of only the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, since the English Reformation. Though nominally claimed as his cathedral, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin uses St Marys in Marlborough Street in Dublin’s pro-cathedral (acting cathedral). [Nb 1]

Christ Church Cathedral is located in the old heart of medieval Dublin, next to Wood Quay by the end of Lord Edward Street. But a major dual carriage-way, building on the separated it from the original medieval street pattern which once surrounded it, with its original architectural contexts (in the middle of a maze of small buildings and streets) lost due to road construction and demolition of older residential by Wood Quay. As a result, the cathedral appears dominant in isolation behind new civil offices along the quays, of its original medieval context. In recent years, the cathedral offers a great set of medieval drama, such as the CW hit drama “Reign” .Huvudbyggnad “Christ Church Cathedral” was used to film the crucial moment in the drama pilot.The Cathedral also offers a great backdrop to the hit drama “The Tudors,” which was Christchurch Cathedrals longest TV show to be filmed in the compounds of the cathedral, many dresses and clothes worn by Maria Doyle Kennedy (Catherine of Aragon) and Jonathon Rhys Myers ( Henrik) are available to be seen in the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral.

Christchurch is the only one of the three cathedrals cathedrals or acts that can be seen clearly from the River Liffey.

first Cathedral

The cathedral was founded probably sometime after 1028 when King Sitric Silke Beard, the Hiberno-Norse king of Dublin, made a pilgrimage to Rome.The first bishop of this new diocese Dublin was Dunan or Donatella, and the pin was at the time a small island of land surrounded by much larger Diocese of Glendalough, and was for a time head of Canterbury rather than to the Irish church hierarchy. The church was built on the high ground overlooking the Viking settlement at Wood Quay and Sitric gave “lands in Baldoyle, Raheny and Portrane for its maintenance.” [2] Of the four old Celtic Christian churches are said to have been around Dublin, only one, dedicated to St. .Martin of Tours, was within the walls of the Viking city, and Christchurch was one of only two churches in the city. [2]

The cathedral was originally staffed by secular priests. The second bishop of Dublin presented the Benedictines. In 1163, Christchurch was converted into a priory of the Regular Order of Arrosian Canon (August Reformed Rule) of the second archbishop of Dublin, later saint Laurence O’Toole, which acceded to the convention itself; the latter led by August 1 before, which ranks as the second church figure of the pin, and not a dean, until the restoration in 1541. The Priory, Priory of the Holy Trinity, became the richest religious houses in Ireland, holding over 10,000 acres (40 km 2 ) of property in Dublin alone [3] the most notable of these was the home of three farms held at the Grange Gorman, Glasnevin and Clonken or Clonkene, now known as Dean Grange. [4]

Norman period

Henry II took part in the Christmas service at the Cathedral in 1171. According cathedral guidebook this was the first time Henry had supper after the murder of Thomas Becket of Henry’s knights in Canterbury.

In the 1180s, Strongbow and other Norman magnates helped finance a complete rebuild of Christchurch, originally a wooden building in stone, comprising the construction of a drive, drive aisles and transepts, the crypt and chapel to St. Edmund and St. Mary and St. Lô.

A chapel to St. Laurence O’Toole was in the 13th century and much of the existing nave was built in the 1230s. Its design is inspired by the architecture of the English western school of Gothic and the forging of a stones- Somerset oolite- was sculpted and artisans from the region. [5]

In 1300 Richard de Ferings, Archbishop of Dublin arranged an agreement between the two cathedrals, the Pacis Compostio , who recognized both as cathedrals and took some steps to meet their common position (see below for more on this).

In the 1350s a major extension was made by John de St. Paul, Archbishop of Dublin from 1349 to 1362. By 1358, nave of the cathedral was partly used for secular purposes and a “long quire” was added extension of the old choir area of approximately 10 meters. St. Paul also installed an organ. His work was destroyed by major refit in the 1870s.

In 1480 the rich Judge William Sutton bequeathed all his loins and silver to the cathedral.

The cathedral was the site of the alleged coronation, 1487, Lambert Simnel, a boy pretender who tried unsuccessfully to dismiss Henry VII of England, as “King Edward VI”.

In 1493 the choir school was founded.


1539, King Henry VIII, the priory converted into a cathedral with a Dean and Chapter and worked to ensure Christchurch followed his new church structure. His immediate successor, Edward VI of England, in 1547, provided funds for an increase in the Cathedral staffing and annual royal funding for the choir school.

King Edward VI suppressed formally St. Patrick’s Cathedral and 25 April 1547 was its silver jewelry and ornaments are transferred to the dean and chapter of Christchurch. This episode ended with a late act of Queen Mary’s reign, an act of April 27, 1558 consists of a release or reception of Thomas Leverous, dean and chapter of St. Patrick, of “goods, bags, musical instruments, etc.” belongs to this Cathedral and who had been in possession of the Dean and chapter of Christ Church.

Queen Mary I of England, and later James I of England, also increased Christchurch donation. Meanwhile, in 1551, the church service was sung for the first time in Ireland in English instead of Latin. 1560, the Bible was first read in English.

Kingdom, Ireland

The grounds of the ship, resting on peat, slipped in 1562, bringing down the south wall and the arched stone ceiling (the northern wall, which visibly leans survived, and largely goes back to 1230) .Delreparationer performed but much of the debris was simply leveled and new floor built over it until 1871. in 1620 the English-born judge Luke Gernon noted that Christ Church was in a better condition than St. Patrick.

In the 17th century, both the Parliament and the courts met in buildings constructed along Christchurch. King James II himself presided over the state opening of parliament at that location. However, Parliament and the courts both moved elsewhere: the courts to the newly built Four Courts on the river front, and Parliament House in Chichester hoggen Green, the building that is now the Bank of Ireland, College Green.

As well as nearby St. Patrick, the building was in poor condition for much of the 19th century. After the building was declared unsafe and no longer suitable for use, some limited work performed by Matthew Price (Architect) between 1829 and 1831st

19th and 20th centuries

The cathedral was extensively renovated and built in 1871-1878 by George Edmund Street, with the sponsorship of the distiller Henry Roe Mount Anville. The great 14th century run was demolished and a new east side was built over the original crypt. He built a new chapter house. Tower byggdes.Den south nave arcade was built. The buttresses were added as a decorative feature. The northern porch was removed. Baptistry was built in its place. [6] Street built adjacent Synod Hall, taking in the last remains of St Michael and All Angels Church, including the clock tower. The synod house is connected to the Cathedral by the Street’s iconic covered walkway. Roe spent over £ 230,000 at the time (over € 26 million in 2006 terms). Further renovations were carried out, especially between 1980 and in 1982.


Christchurch is the center of worship for the united diocese and keeps notable annual events such as citizenship service. As the cathedral in the southern province of the Church of Ireland also hosts ordinations of priests and consecration of bishops.


Impact of the restoration

After an extensive renovation in Victorian times, while severely decayed structure preserved from collapse, it is still difficult to say which parts of the interior is genuinely medieval and which parts are Victorian pastiche.Photographs taken from the outside shows the dramatic nature of the renovation done by the Victorians: Archbishop of St. Paul’s 14-century cathedral, especially “long chorus,” was almost completely destroyed. Yet Christchurch remains a fascinating sampling of surviving medieval and later the church building.


The cathedral famously the reputed tomb of Strongbow, a medieval Norman-Welsh Civil and warlord who came to Ireland at the request of King Diarmuid MacMorrough and whose arrival marked the beginning of the Anglo-Norman involvement in Ireland. According to Christ Church Cathedral website, in 1562 the ship roof vaults collapsed and Strongbow’s tomb was shattered; the current grave is a modern replacement from Drogheda. [7] It is well documented from a number of sources, [ citation needed ]the tomb of Strongbow was used as the venue for legal contracts from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Besides the main tomb is a small figure with sloping shoulders, indicating a female figure, but wearing chain mail, which may indicate that it was a child.


Christchurch also contains the largest cathedral crypt (63.4m long) in the UK or Ireland, constructed in 1172-1173. After being restored in the early 2000s, it is now open to visitors.

The crypt contains various monuments and historical features, including:

  • the oldest known secular carvings in Ireland, two carved statues that until the end of the 18th century stood outside the Tholsel (Dublin medieval town hall, which was demolished in 1806)
  • a tabernacle and set of candlesticks used when the cathedral was last used (for a very short time) under the “Roman rite,” when the Catholic King James II, after fleeing England in 1690, came to Ireland to fight for his throne and attended High Mass in the temporary reintroduction of Christchurch as a Roman Catholic cathedral.
  • stocks earlier in Christchurch Place, made in 1670 and used for the punishment of criminals before the courts Dean Liberty (the small area in the Cathedral exclusive civic authority), moved here in 1870
  • historical books and altar goods Cathedral
  • “The Cat & The Rat” is displayed with an explanatory note.

The Chapter

Behind the altar area, there’s Chapter House, which contains the cathedral offices, meeting rooms and other facilities.

Synod hall and bridge

In the western part of the cathedral is a fully integrated stone bridge, leading to the former Synod Hall, which was built on the site of St Michael’s, a prebendal Church of Christ Church, which was demolished in the street during the restoration of the cathedral. This hall, which contains the old St Michael’s tower was formerly used to house the general synods and the diocese Dublin, Glendalough and Kildare. It is now home to Dubliniaexhibition on medieval Dublin.


Two question cathedral

For most of their common history, both Christchurch and St Patrick’s Cathedral was the status of the Dublin diocese, a rare event that only ended after the transition to DISESTABLISH church Irland.I early times, there was considerable conflict over the status but according to the six-point agreement by 1300, Pacis Composition , still preserved, and in force until 1870:

  • The consecration and enthronement of the Archbishop of Dublin would take place in Christchurch – records show that this rule is not always followed, with many metropolitans enthroned in both and at least two in St. Patrick’s single
  • Christchurch had formal preference, as a mother and leader cathedral of the diocese
  • Christchurch was to keep the cross, miter and ring of each deceased Archbishop of Dublin
  • Died Archbishops of Dublin would be buried alternately in each of the two cathedrals, unless they personally wanted otherwise
  • The annual opening ceremony of chrism oil for the diocese would take place in Christchurch
  • The two cathedrals would work like one, and divided equally in their freedom

1868 Church Commissioners’ report suggested that St. Patrick’s Cathedral and only reduce Christchurch to a church. [8]


To this day, the Acting seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, St Mary’s is known as a “pro-cathedral” in recognition of the fact that the Holy See maintains Christchurch as the rightful seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop.


Dean and Chapter

The dean and chapter with the consent of the Archbishop of Dublin, Chair of the cathedral, with the Dean as “first among equals” in the chapter but keeps a day-to-day authority, provided that the specific roles of other characters (the dean and chapter together in a situation similar to a rector of a parish).

The chapter includes the Dean, the sexton (who must be skilled in music), chancellor, treasurer, archdeacons of Dublin and Glendalough and 12 guns, eight-be priests in the diocese of Dublin and the four priests in the diocese Glendalough (the highest three of appointment is known as PREBENDARY St. Michaels, PREBENDARY St. Michan’s and PREBENDARY St Johns).

(See Dean of Christ Church Cathedral more of the deans and the previous priors.)

Dean is appointed by the Archbishop of Dublin and in an arrangement started in 1971, is also the responsibility of the Christ Church Cathedral Group congregations, whose day-to-day care in the hands of a vicar appointed by a special board of patronage.

Dean can appoint a deputy and also appoints the cathedral verger. The dean and chapter together appoint sacristan, while the other members of the chapter are appointed by the archbishop.


After having been historically controlled by his priestly chapter alone, since 1872 the cathedral has been operationally supervised by a board of directors consisting of nine office members (Dean, sacristan, two office vicars and five other priests) [9] and nine lay people elected every third annual Easter vestry.The Board has the power to appoint and remove officials from other than those whose appointment lies with the archbishop and the dean and chapter, or Dean to regulate wages and handle financial matters Cathedral. The board is in a similar situation to a select vestry of a parish.

Board committees – in mid-2007, these are: administration and finance, culture (including financial), deanery, fabric, fundraising, health and safety, information technology, music, protection of confidence and towers.

other priests

There’s a Reverend Dean (and clerk of the chapter), vicar of the Cathedral Group Wards and services of a chaplain’s assistant and a student readers. It is also mostly honorary office vicars.


Christchurch has a long musical history, with a well-known cathedral choir and a girls’ choir. Together with the parish clerk, is the musical side of the work headed by “an organist and music director”, who work with an assistant organist and organ lessons, as well as “honorary Keeper of Music Librarian” and the 2007, a “Music Development Officer”.

List of organists

  • 1595 John Fermor
  • Thomas in 1608, Bateson
  • 1631 Randal Jewett
  • 1639 Benjamin Rogers
  • 1646 John Shaw
  • 1688 Thomas Godfrey
  • 1689 Thomas Morgan
  • 1692 Peter Isaac
  • 1694 Thomas Finell
  • 1698 Daniel Roseingrave
  • 1727 Ralph Roseingrave
  • 1747 George Walsh
  • 1765 Richard Woodward
  • 1777 Samuel Murphy
  • 1780 Langrishe Doyle
  • 1805 William Warren
  • 1816 Francis Robinson
  • 1834 John Robinson
  • 1844 Sir Robert Prescott Stewart
  • 1894 John Horan
  • 1906 James Fitzgerald
  • 1913 Charles Herbert Kitson
  • 1920 Thomas Henry Weaving
  • 1950 Leslie Henry Bret Reed
  • 1955 Thomas Arnold McKiernan
  • 1980 Peter Sweeney
  • 1992 Mark Duley
  • 2003 Judy Martin
  • 2010 Judith Gannon (locum)
  • 2012 Ian Keatley


Christ Church Cathedral probably had at least one bell from the start. By 1440 there were known to be three large bells in the tower; But March 11, 1597, an accidental gunpowder explosion in one of the neighboring piers damaged tower and caused clocks to crack. The effects of the blast also damaged the tower near St. Audoen church.

In 1670, six new bells cast for the tower from the cannon metal. These were expanded to eight in 1738 and then to the Twelve 1878th

The latest gain was in 1999 when seven bells were added to the ring, giving a grand total of 19 bells, a world record for the bells rung in this way. While this does not provide a diatonic scale of 19 notes, unique, it provides a choice of combinations: three 12-bell peals (the keys B, C # and F #), and 14 and 16 bell peals. At the time of augmentation, this was only the second 16 full circle bell peal in the world – St Martin’s church in Birmingham is the first.

The peal of work led by the “Ring Master and Master of the Tower.”

Administrative staff

Cathedral staff headed by a CEO Bernie Murphy, in April 2010. There is also a cathedral manager, financial manager, visitor services officer and education officer, officer tours, events officer and tourism and business development officer with the floor staff and event staff.

Archive and Publications

Christchurch has a number of historical archives and has arranged a number of publications over the years, and to maintain a website since the 1990s.The work is supervised by “honorary keeper of the archives” and “Web and e-mail editor , along with the” Honorary Secretary Christchurch Publications, Ltd. “.


The cathedral is supported by volunteer friends to Christ Church Cathedral, founded in 1929, and is working with the cathedral authorities in a variety of ways.


As Christchurch receive no regular government support, while welcoming all the guests and has a chapel for those who just want to ask, there are fees for sightseeing, which can also be paid in conjunction with the purchase of a ticket to the neighboring Dublinia exhibition. There is a gift shop with souvenirs, recordings of cathedral music groups and publications.

Group of congregations

In 1971, the General Synod, after previous discussions created “Christ Church Cathedral Group congregations”, unites it was when four churches with the cathedral, whose dean is their principal: St Andrews, St Werburgh’s, All Saints (Grange Gorman) and St. Michan’s, St. Paul and St. Mary. The parishes are monitored daily by a vicar is chosen by a special committee of patronage.


  • The heart of Lorcán Ua Tuathail (Saint Laurence O’Toole / Archbishop of Dublin). It was stolen from the cathedral on March 3, 2012. [10]
  • John Comyn (Archbishop)
  • Thomas Cartwright (Bishop)
  • John Maxwell (Archbishop)
  • Stephen the Fulbourn
  • John Parker (Archbishop)
  • Thomas Lindsay (metropolitan)
  • Henry Leslie (Bishop)
  • St. George Ashe
  • Welbore Ellis (Bishop)
  • John Garvey (Archbishop)
  • John de St. Paul (Archbishop)
  • James Barry, 1st Baron Barry Santry

See also

  • Archbishop of Dublin


  1. Jump up ^ Periodically, it has been suggested that the Catholic Church intends to “downgrade” to Christchurch church level (that is, effectively recognizing that the church no longer sees it as his cathedra ) and either upgrade the St Marys to full cathedral or status to build a new cathedral. Until the 1970s, the park in the center of Merrion Square was the planned site of the new cathedral, but the place was instead given on a leasehold to Dublin City Council. From 1974-2010 it was known as “Archbishop Ryan Park” by Archbishop Dermot Ryan, who made a gift to the people of Dublin.


  1. Jump up ^ Christchurch at the official site of the Church of Ireland
  2. ^ Jump up to: ab Dublin: Catholic Truth Society, 1911: Bishop of Canea: Short stories of Dublin judgments, Part VIII, p. 162
  3. Jump up ^ Raymond Gillespie: A History of Christ Church Cathedral.Four Courts Press, 1996.
  4. Jump up ^ Mac Giolla Phádraig, Brian, “14th century life in a Dublin convent” in Dublin Historical Record 1 (3) (September 1938), pp 69, 72 thereof.
  5. Jump up ^ Harold G. Leask, Irish churches and cloisters
  6. Jump up ^ Shell Guide to Ireland
  7. Jump up ^ “The History of Christ Church Cathedral” (PDF) Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  8. Jump up ^ established church (Ireland) Commission (1868). Report. A. Thomson for HMSO. pp. VII to IX; §24,30. Hämtadtio November 2014.
  9. Jump up ^ “In 1921, and every three years thereafter, the Dean and Chapter choose among priests in the cathedral of five persons with Dean, the sacristan, and the two leading office Vicars, shall be members of the Cathedral Board. “
  10. Jump up ^ “Relic of St. Laurence O’Toole stolen”. RTÉ News and Current Affairs. March 3, 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.