St Patrick's Cathedral - Dublin, Ireland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 53° 20.360 W 006° 16.321
29U E 681617 N 5913489
Quick Description: Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptised converts on his visit to Dublin.
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Date Posted: 4/19/2016 6:23:53 AM
Waymark Code: WMQZEZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member sfwife
Views: 6

Long Description:

The cathedral has a 147 feet tower with a 101 feet spire. The cathedral's website tells us:

The original spire of the Cathedral was blown down in a storm in 1316. The following year the Cathedral was set on fire during the Bruce Wars and many precious objects were looted in the confusion.

Following a more serious fire in the nave in 1362 repairs were commissioned by Thomas Minot, Archbishop of Dublin. Minot also built a 147-foot tower at the North-West angle of the Cathedral, employing 60 men in its construction. It is made of Irish limestone, with walls ten feet thick.

The Tower is still know as Minot's Tower today, although Minot's original Tower collapsed in c.1394, taking part of the North Nave Aisle with it. Therefore a second rebuilding was required at the end of the fourteenth century. The four western bays in the North Nave Aisle, which, for an unknown reason, are higher and wider than the rest, were also built around this time.

The first floor of Minot's Tower may have originally served as a library. On the next floor is the Ringing Chamber. The Cathedral Tower now houses a peel of bells donated by Edward Cecil Guinness in 1897. The bells hang in the fourth floor of the tower, two floors above the Ringing Chamber.

One of the first public clocks in Dublin had been installed in the third floor of Minot's tower by 1509. This raised the Cathedral to the same status of public building as Dublin Castle. The time is shown on two copper dials, eight feet in diameter, on the West and North-facing sides of the tower. The granite spire, 101 feet high, was designed by George Semple and added to the top of the tower in 1749.

The Tourist Information Dublin website tells us:

St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, ("Árd Eaglais Naomh Pádraig" in Irish), was founded in 1191, and is the larger of Dublin's two Church of Ireland cathedrals, and the largest church in Ireland.

Unusually it is not the seat of a bishop, as Dublin's Church of Ireland Archbishop has his seat in the nearby Christ Church Cathedral.

Saint Patrick is believed to have passed through Dublin on his travels around Ireland. He is said to have baptised converts from paganism to Christianity in a well close to where the cathedral now stands, so in memory of his visit a small wooden church was built on the site, one of the four Celtic parish churches in Dublin.

In 1191 John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, raised this ancient church of Saint Patrick to the status of a cathedral. The present building, was erected in the 13th Century but little of this original building remains. 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 7.5 feet of the floor thus ensuring there would never be a crypt or basement area. Over the centuries as the elements, religious reformation, and persecution took their toll, the cathedral fell into disrepair, despite many attempts to restore it. Between 1860 and 1900 a full-scale restoration was carried out instigated by Benjamin Guinness in 1860-65, and inspired by the fear that the cathedral was in imminent danger of collapse.

There is almost no precedent for a two-cathedral city and this was the source of much tension over the years until this eventually settled, more-or-less, by the signing of a six-point agreement of 1300, Pacis Compositio which was in force until 1870.

Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, was Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745. Many of his famous sermons and "Irish tracts" (such as the Drapier's Letters) were given during his stay as Dean.

It is believed that Saint Patrick's was the origin of the expression "chancing your arm" (meaning to take a risk), when Gerald, Earl of Kildare cut a hole in a door there, still to be seen, and thrust his arm through it, in an effort to call a truce with another Earl, James of Ormond, in 1492.

Location of the Steeple:
St Patrick's Cathedral
St Patrick's Close
Dublin, Ireland


Approximate Date of Construction: Tower:1362 & Steeple: 1749

Website: [Web Link]

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