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Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne
North Cathedral / North Chapel
Ardeaglais Naomh Muire agus Naomh Áine
Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne is located in Ireland
Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne
Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne
Location in Ireland
51°54′17″N 8°28′34″W / 51.9047°N 8.4762°W / 51.9047; -8.4762
Location Cork, County Cork
Country Ireland
Denomination Roman Catholic
Status In Use
Consecrated 22 August 1808
Parish Cathedral
Archdiocese Cashel and Emly
Diocese Cork and Ross

The Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Anne (Irish: Ardeaglais Naomh Muire agus Naomh Áine), also known as Saint Mary's Cathedral, The North Cathedral or The North Chapel, is a Roman Catholic cathedral located at the top of Shandon Street in Cork, Ireland. It is the seat of the Bishop of Cork and Ross, and the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cork and Ross. Its name derived from the fact that it encompassed the ecclesiastical parish of St. Mary and the civil parish of St. Anne.


The cathedral is both the seat of the Bishop of Cork and Ross, and the parish church for the Cathedral parish which includes the areas of Blarney Street, Shandon and Blackpool. Baptismal records date back to 1731. The parish boundary had also included the areas of Blackpool, Clogheen, Kerry Pike and Curraghkippane until 1981. (Both chapels of ease to the Cathedral, The Church of the Most Precious Blood, became the parish church of Clogheen/Kerry Pike & The Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary became the parish church of Blackpool).

The cathedral was built during the tenure of Bishop Francis Moylan. Construction began in 1799 on the site of a former church built in the 1730s. The cathedral was dedicated on 22 August 1808 by Archbishop Thomas Bray of Cashel. In his sermon, coadjutor bishop Florence McCarthy D.D. spoke of the "necessity of social worship, arguing the point from reason, scripture, and tradition." McCarthy died of typhoid in 1810, contracted while visiting a sick parishioner.

The building was extensively damaged by an act of arson in 1820. George Richard Pain undertook the restoration of the cathedral, enlarging the sanctuary and creating a Chancel Arch. The cathedral re-opened in 1828.

In 1964, the sanctuary was extended, a sanctuary tower added, and the internal layout reorganised. These works were completed in 1968. The architects employed were Boyd Barrett and Associates.

The most recent large-scale works were completed at the cathedral between 1994 and 1996. The tower and sanctuary were renovated and refurbished, and the high altar, altar rails and side altars were removed. The roof was re-slated and the gothic ceiling was repaired. External stonework of the cathedral was also repointed. The cathedral closed for the duration of the works. It was re-dedicated by Bishop Michael Murphy on 29 September 1996 (shortly before his death in October 1996).

The cathedral celebrated its bicentenary in September 2008.

In 2017 a visitor centre was established underneath the sanctuary of the cathedral, with tours of the Cork Folklore Project's exhibition and work.


Designed in early Neo-Gothic Revivalist style, the building combines sandstone with limestone dressings. The tower over the main door was added in 1869, designed by John Benson.

The original altar was fashioned in wood by Italian craftsmen in Lisbon. In 1821, John Hogan carved twenty-seven statues in wood for the reredos behind the high altar.

The bells were cast in 1870 by John Murphy of Dublin, and were originally hung for change-ringing, however they are now considered 'unringable'.

The modern sanctuary of 1996 was designed by architect Richard Hurley, and is finished in white limestone.

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