St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsSt Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
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|53°20′22″N 6°16′17″W / 53.33944°N 6.27139°W|
|Location||St Patrick's Close, Patrick Street, Dublin 8|
|Country||Republic of Ireland|
|Denomination||Church of Ireland|
|Diocese||Dublin and Glendalough|
Saint Patrick's Cathedral (Irish: Ard-Eaglais Naomh Pádraig) in Dublin, Ireland, founded in 1191, is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. Christ Church Cathedral, also a Church of Ireland cathedral in Dublin, is designated as the local cathedral of the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough.
In 1192, John Comyn, first Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin, elevated one of the four Dublin Celtic parish churches, the one dedicated to Saint Patrick, beside a holy well of the same name and on an island between two branches of the River Poddle, to the status of a collegiate church, i.e., a church with a body of clergy devoted to both worship and learning. The church was dedicated to "God, our Blessed Lady Mary and St Patrick" on 17 March 1191.
The basis of the present building, as noted, the largest church in Ireland, was built between 1191 and 1270, though little now remains of the earliest work beyond the Baptistry.
An order from King Henry III in 1225 allowed the collection of donations from across the island for reconstruction for a period of four years, and the work, in the Early English Gothic style, lasted at least until re-dedication in 1254.
The Lady Chapel was added around 1270. By the early 17th century, the Lady Chapel was said to have been in ruins.
The tower (Minot's Tower) and west nave were rebuilt between 1362 and 1370, following a fire. The name commemorates Thomas Minot, Archbishop of Dublin 1363–75, who oversaw the rebuilding.
From the very earliest years there were problems with seepage of water, with a number of floods, especially in the later years of the 18th century, caused by the surrounding branches of the River Poddle – even in the 20th century, it is reported that the water table was within 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) of the floor. This situation ensured there would never be a crypt or basement area.
Choir school and grammar school
The choir school continues and although originally all-male, now also admits girls; a Cathedral Girls' Choir was founded in 2000 and sings once or twice a week. The girls are mostly from either the choir school or St Patrick's Grammar School, which provides a secondary education. It is no longer compulsory for grammar school pupils to be in the choirs, although many of the girls are, and a few boys; many of the boys leave when their voice breaks.
Choirboys are considered professional singers and are paid monthly for their services. The girls are not. The choir also sings very occasionally at weddings for the well-off and receive payment for this. Until 1998 they received a large discount on their education; they are still offered free music lessons.
- Knights of St Patrick. From 1783 until 1871 the cathedral served as the Chapel of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, members of which were the Knights of St Patrick. With the dis-establishment of the Church of Ireland in 1871 the installation ceremony moved to St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle. The heraldic banners of the knights at the time of the change still hang over the choir stalls to this day.
- Paris-Malta obedience of the Order of Saint Lazarus (statuted 1910). The Cathedral contains the so-called Dunsany Chapel which is the spiritual home of the order in Ireland. The decoration of the chapel was provided for by Randall Plunkett, 19th Lord Dunsany, who established the order in Ireland in 1962. The cathedral is used for its investiture ceremonies and the Dean of the Cathedral is an Ecclesiastical Commander of the order.
The cathedral, which generally receives no State funding, welcomes all, with a chapel for those who come simply to pray and a small fee for those who wish to sight-see. The cathedral website mentioned in 2006 that visitor numbers had reached around 300,000 a year.
Legend has it that Saint Patrick's was the place where the expression "chancing your arm" (meaning to take a risk) originated, when The 8th Earl of Kildare cut a hole in a door there, still to be seen, and thrust his arm through it to shake hands in friendship, in an effort to call a truce in the Butler–FitzGerald dispute with James, Earl of Ormond, in 1492.
It was outside St Patrick's that the troops of the Jacob's Garrison assembled after the Easter Rising to march to Richmond Barracks where their leader Thomas MacDonagh and his sub-officers John MacBride and Michael O'Hanrahan were condemned to death and moved to Kilmainham Gaol to be shot.
Over 500 people are buried on the site, both under the cathedral's floor and in the graveyard outside. Some notable individuals include:
- Richard Northalis, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin
- John de Sandford, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin
- Hugh Inge, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin
- Marcus Beresford
- Sir John Blennerhassett and his wife
- Thomas Jones as well as his wife
- Michael Boyle
- Richard Meredith
- Michael Tregury, Archbishop of Dublin (1450–1471)
- Adam Loftus, also the first Provost of Trinity College Dublin – in a family vault also containing his wife and two of their children
- John Cradock, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin (1772–1778)
- Frederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of Schomberg (1615/6-1690)
- Jonathan Swift, author and dean of the cathedral and Esther Johnson ("Stella") his companion of many years.
- James Henthorn Todd (1805-1869), Historian, Treasurer, Precentor
- Sir Jerome Alexander (died 1670), a notoriously severe judge
- Thomas Cromwell, 3rd Earl of Ardglass
- Lennox Robinson, Playwright and Director
Choir school and grammar school
The choir school continues and although originally all-male, now also admits girls; a Cathedral Girls' Choir was founded in 2000 and sings once or twice a week. The girls are mostly drawn from either the choir school or St Patrick's Grammar School, which provides a secondary education. It is no longer compulsory for grammar school pupils to be in the choirs, although many of the girls are, and a few boys; many of the boys leave when their voice breaks. Choirboys are considered professional singers and are paid monthly for their services. The girls are not. The choir also sings very occasionally at weddings and receive payment for this. Until 1998 they received a large discount on their education; they are still offered free music lessons. While non-choirboy students had two months' holidays during the summer, half of the boys were on duty every day during the summer and had to attend choir practice and two services each weekday, one service on Saturday and two on Sunday. This arrangement was also changed in 1998.
The organ of St Patrick's Cathedral is one of the largest in Ireland with over 4,000 pipes. Parts of it date from a Renatus Harris instrument of 1695. The organ was rebuilt in the 1890s by Henry Willis and Son, in consultation with Sir George Martin. It was restored in 1963 by J. W. Walker & Sons Ltd.
- List of organists
- 1509 William Herbit
- 1555 William Browne
- 1606 Anthony Willis
- 1631 Randal Jewett
- 1661 John Hawkshaw
- 1686 Thomas Godfrey
- 1689 Thomas Finell
- 1691 William Isaac
- 1695 Robert Hodge
- 1698 Daniel Roseingrave
- 1727 Ralph Roseingrave
- 1748 Richard Broadway
- 1761 George Walsh
- 1765 Henry Walsh
- 1769 Michael Sandys
- 1773 Samuel Murphy
- 1780 Philip Cogan
- 1806 John Mathews
- 1827 William Warren
- 1828 Francis Robinson
- 1830 John Robinson
- 1844 Richard Cherry
- 1845 William Henry White
- 1852 Sir Robert P. Stewart
- 1861 William Murphy
- 1879 Charles George Marchant
- 1920 George H P Hewson
- 1960 William Sydney Grieg
- 1977 John Dexter
- 2002 Peter Barley
- 2010 Stuart Nicholson
St. Patrick's Cathedral holds the heaviest change-ringing peal of bells in Ireland, which are also the 10th heaviest in the world. They consist of a 12-bell diatonic peal and 3 semitone bells, with the main peal being tuned to the key of C.
In 1670 there was a ring of eight bells made by Thomas Purdue. During the Guinness restoration, a new peal of bells was presented by Benjamin Lee Guinness. In the 1890s his son, Edward Guinness, donated a new peal of bells (a peal of 10 plus a flat 4th) cast by John Taylor and Co in 1897. They were augmented with two trebles presented by Richard Cherry, the Attorney-General for Ireland (himself a prolific bellringer) in 1909, to produce Ireland's first ring of twelve bells. The first peal rung on the bells, in 1911, was the first tower bell peal ever rung outside of England. A sharp-second bell was added in 2007 in order to create a light peal of eight, and this was also cast by John Taylor & Co.
The bells are rung regularly on Sundays for Sung Eucharist and Choral Evensong, and ringing practices are held on Tuesday nights. A learners practice is also held on Saturday mornings.
An Ellacombe apparatus is installed in the ringing room, however this is no longer functional.
Friends of the cathedral
The cathedral is supported by a volunteer organisation, with both subscribing (annual and five-year) and life members, who perform various tasks and contribute materially to the work and fabric of the cathedral. In addition, there are a range of voluntary groups performing specific tasks, such as bell-ringing, welcoming of guests and cleaning.
Images for kids
State pew of the President of Ireland, still retains a British Standard carving on the front
Bust of Jonathan Swift
|Mary the Jewess|