Best Irish FactsFacts on Ireland and the Irish

Christ Church Cathedral


Christ ChurchChrist Church Cathedral is located in Christ Church Place, Dublin.

Its denomination is Church of Ireland.

It is more formally known as The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

It is one of two medieval cathedrals in Dublin, the other being Saint Patrick’s.

Christ Church is the elder of the two.

Both are Church of Ireland.

Christ Church was built at a time when Dublin was still a Viking city.

It was founded by Sitric Silkenbeard, Norse King of Dublin.

It was founded in the 11th century, around 1037.

Henry II, the first English king to set foot in Ireland, attended Christmas service there in 1171.

In the 1180’s the original wooden building was replaced by a stone building.

It was built by Richard Fitzgilbert de Clare otherwise known as Strongbow.

When he died, Strongbow was buried in a tomb in the church.

Archbishop Laurence O’Toole formed a Cathedral Priory of Augustinian canons in Christ Church.

Laurence O’Toole’s heart is buried in Christ Church.

In 1171 Richard II received the homage of the Kings of the four Irish provinces in Christ Church.

In 1487 Lambert Simnel, Pretender to the throne of Henry VII was crowned in Christ Church as Edward VI.

During the Reformation, Henry VIII dissolved the Augustinian Priory.

In 1689 Christ Church was briefly restored to Catholicism when King James II attended mass.

The restoration lasted three months.

James presented a tabernacle and candlesticks to mark the restoration.

In 1690 William III gave thanks in Christ Church for his victory over James in the Battle of the Boyne.

William gave a silver plate to mark his victory.

Both gifts are still on display in the cathedral.

In 1562 the south wall and the roof collapsed destroying, among other things, the tomb of Strongbow.

The tomb seen in the cathedral today is a replacement from that era brought from Drogheda.

Temporary repairs were carried out and were in place until the 1870’s.

The north wall of the cathedral still leans.

Christ Church is claimed by the Holy See as the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin.

The crypt of Christ Church is the second largest cathedral crypt in Ireland and Britain.

The crypt was once used as a market and a tavern.

A mummified cat and rat are on display in the crypt.

In 1742 the cathedral choir along with the choir of St Patrick’s sang the world premiere of Handel’s Messiah in Fishamble Street.

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