Churches and Cathedrals >1100

The Normans and the Cistercians changed Irish churches from using the rounded Romanesque arch to the pointed arch of the Gothic. This style continued to dominate church architecture until the Reformation (and then again in the 19th century). Many of our great Cathedrals have been heavily restored in the 19th century but these are still essentially Norman.

One of the most picturesque churches in Ireland

Gougane Barra, Ballingeary, County Cork. 6th - 19th century Gougane Barra is a wild and wonderful glaciated valley located in the Shehy Mountains in West Cork. The name translates to mean 'Finbarr's Rock' and is [...]

The ancient starting point for pilgrims for climbing Croke Patrick

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Murrisk Abbey in co.Mayo. It was founded 1456 by the Augustinian Friars on the site of a former church reputedly founded by St Patrick. It is located near to foot of Croagh [...]

St Brigid’s High Cross – Ireland’s first Spice Girl

St Bridget's High Cross is located in Kildare Town. co.Kildare. It dates somewhere between the 9th to the 12th century and stands 9 feet tall in the grounds of St Bridget's Cathedral. The cross is [...]

Ireland’s last hermit

The Anchorite Cell Chapel, Fore. County Westmeath            1830 This little church is known as The Anchorite Cell Chapel and is part of the Fore Abbey complex. The original monastery here was founded by St Feichin [...]

One of the first Gothic arches built in Ireland & Game of Thrones

Inch Abbey, Downpatrick, County Down          1180 Inch Abbey was established as a Cistercian house by John de Courcy and his wife Affreca in 1180 as an act of repentance for the destruction Erinagh Abbey 3 [...]

One of Ireland’s most historic buildings, A heart of a Saint and Tom & Jerry

Christchurch is built on the most commanding position in Dublin and is one of the finest historical buildings in Ireland. This location was chosen by Sitric Silkbeard, the first Christian Danish King who built a [...]

The highest point in Kilkenny, 3 ‘official’ names and a statue by Benzoni

St Mary's Cathedral is located in Kilkenny City and is the highest point in the City with it's 186 foot high tower. Before the arrival of Cromwell in 1650 the Catholic congregation of Kilkenny celebrated mass [...]

Ireland’s first and most important Cistercian Abbey

Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. County Meath   1142 Mellifont Abbey was founded by St Malachy in 1142. This was the first, the richest and the most important of Ireland's 35 Cistercian abbeys. The Cistercian Order was established [...]

St Bridget, an art school and a hidden Sheela-Na-Gig

St Bridget's Cathedral is located in Kildare Town in county Kildare. It was built c.1230 on the same site that St Brigid founded her nunnery in the 5th century a.d. It is believed that Brigid’s [...]

Europe’s largest collection of medieval & Celtic architecture in a single site

The Rock of Cashel, Cashel. County Tipperary      c. 1100 – 1400 a. d. The Rock of Cashel is one of the most striking monuments in Ireland and has some of the finest collections of Celtic [...]

One of Ireland’s most important ecclesiastical centres

The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciarán in 546 a.d. and is one of Ireland's most important ecclesiastical centres. St Ciaran was a young preacher from Roscommon who in 545 a.d convinced the local [...]

Crusades, Norman warriors and betrayal

Templar's Church is located in Templetown, co.Wexford and dates from 1310. It received its name from the Knights Templar, a brotherhood of monastic Norman warriors who originated during the crusades. After the Norman invasion of [...]

Regarded as a masterpiece of design and awarded ‘Building of the Century’

St. Aengus’s Church, Burt. County Donegal      1967 This stunning and timeless building is St.Aengus' Church located in Burt, co. Donegal. It was built in 1967 and was designed by local award winning architects Frank Corr [...]

William Marshall, A great storm & One of the richest Cistercian Abbeys in Ireland

Tintern Abbey, Saltmills. County Wexford         1200 The beautiful Tintern Abbey was founded in 1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke. Marshal had set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord of [...]

The 2nd longest church in Ireland & the oldest structure in Kilkenny

St Canice’s Roundtower & Cathedral.  Kilkenny City    950 a. d. &  1285 a. d. This historic site contains two very remarkable buildings. The first National Monuments is St Canice's Cathedral, built between 1202 and 1285. [...]

An eclectic mix of architectural styles, St Patrick & the Cardinal’s Hats

The Catholic Cathedral of St Patrick's is located in Armagh City. This was a former site near where St Patrick himself was reputed to have built a church in 445 a.d inside a ringfort on [...]

The oldest bell, tower and original features of any church in Dublin City

This National Monument is St Audeon's Church. It is located on High Street in Dublin City and dates from c.1190 a.d. It has the distinction of being the only medieval parish church, retaining any original [...]

The largest Cathedral in Ireland and reputedly it’s earliest Christian site

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Wood Quay, Dublin City  1191 St Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest church in Ireland and is also reputed to be its earliest Christian site. Unusually, Dublin has two cathedrals belonging to the [...]

One of the most beautiful complete ruins in Ireland & Kissing St Francis

The Askeaton Franciscan Friary is located in the village of Askeaton beside the River Deel in co.Limerick. This National Monument is one of the most beautiful complete ruins in the country. It was founded in [...]

The oldest and most beautiful building in Limerick City

St Mary’s Cathedral, Bridge Street. Limerick City       1168 St Mary's Cathedral dates back to 1168 making it the oldest building in Limerick City predating King John's Castle. This was previously the site of a Viking [...]

One of our country’s most beautiful churches & Ireland’s Taj Mahal

Kylemore Abbey Church is located in the grounds of Kylemore Abbey in co.Galway. This little church is  regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in Ireland and has one the finest interiors. It was [...]

A leading Irish architect & a village with no centre

This beautiful church, built in 1826 was designed by the famous Dublin architect John Semple. Semple was the leading architect in Dublin during the 1820's and 1830's. Many of his designs are in the 'late [...]

A church with a view, Notable families & Game of Thrones

Ballintoy Church, Ballintoy. County Antrim           1813 Ballintoy or ‘Baile an Tuaigh’ means ‘the northern townland’ in Irish. This church is perched on a hill above Ballintoy harbour in one of the most scenic locations on [...]

An ancient shrine to St Columba, a Norman effigy and a great pint nearby

Skreen Church, The Hill of Skryne, County Meath         1341 Skreen is situated on a hill with stunning views over much of county Meath and towards the Hill of Tara. An earlier church at this location [...]

Viking grave stones, a Celtic Cross & Continental pottery

Kilgobbin Church is located in the village of Stepaside on the foot of the Dublin Mountains. It was built in 1707 on an ancient pre-Norman site where a wooden church would have stood. It is [...]

Designed by Augustus Welby Pugin – the foremost British architect of the 19th century

St Alphonsus' Church is located in Barntown in county Wexford. It was built in 1851 to the designs of Augustus Welby Pugin- the foremost British architect of the 19th century. He was also an extraordinarily [...]

A beautiful church where Paul Henry – Ireland’s greatest landscape artist lies

St Patrick's Parish Church is located in Enniskerry village in county Wicklow. It was commissioned by Mervynn Wingfield 7th Earl of Powerscourt in 1859 in response to the Protestant population of the village not having [...]

A Dublin landmark dome originally destined for St Petersburg

Mary Immaculate Refuge of Sinners Church is located in Rathmines in Dublin City. This impressive church was built in 1854 designed by Patrick Byrne in the Greek Style and was later extended by W.H. Byrne [...]

St Eugene’s bells ring every night at 9 pm as a reminder of the penal laws

According to legend, Eugene was a monk from the Dublin area and foretold the coming of St Columba who in the 6th century a.d. founded a monastery in Derry. By the 12th century this had [...]

The original site of St Columba’s Monastery

St Augustine's Church, Society Street. Derry City         1872 Derry is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Ireland. For thousands of years people have been living in the area. The site of this church [...]

A modern masterpiece of design based on St Peter’s fishing boat

The Church of All Saints, Newtowncunningham, County Donegal       1999 This beautifully designed Catholic Church was built in 1999 at a cost of €1.2 million. The design is based on St. Peter's fishing boat (or barque) [...]

A Norman knight’s tomb, A 13th century abbey & An ogham stone

Thomastown is a beautiful small town located in county Kilkenny It was founded in the 13th century by an Anglo-Norman mercenary from Wales, Thomas FitzAnthony and replaced the the earlier Irish settlement of Grennan. The [...]

Inspired by The Cloth Hall at Bruges, a magnificent tower & a European wide audience

This Gothic styled Cathedral was built in 1833 on the site of a penal church and is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This was the second Catholic Cathedral to be built [...]

Designed by Augustus Welby Pugin – master architect of the 19th century

St Aidan's Cathedral was designed by the famous Victorian architect Austus Welby Pugin (1812 – 1852). Pugin is remembered for his pioneering role in the Gothic Revival style and was an extraordinarily gifted artist who [...]

Over 1000 years of architecture in one building, Medieval tombs & An interesting heritage centre

  St Macculin's Church, Lusk. County Dublin    9th – 19th centuries St Macculin’s Church is an interesting building comprising of a 9th century round tower, a 15th century defensive tower and a 19th century church. [...]

St Columba, Bishop Hervey & A stunning interior

Derry takes it's name from the Irish word 'doire' meaning oak grove. Oak groves were regarded as sacred places for the ancient Celts before Christianity arrived. This area was originally a small wooded island surrounded [...]

The 1st Cathedral built in the British Isles after the Reformation & Derry’s oldest surviving building

St Columb’s Cathedral, London Street. Derry City          1633 St Columb's Cathedral was built in 1633 at the highest point in Derry City on the site of a former Cistercian Nunnery. It is Derry's oldest surviving [...]

A french design, the K Club & the Barton and Guestierdue winery

Straffan Parish Church was built in 1838 and takes it's architectural design from France. This connection was through the local Barton family who built the nearby K-Club. Thomas Barton, originally from Buttevant in Co. Cork [...]

The last great stone Cathedral to be built in Europe

he Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas is more commonly known as Galway Cathedral. This site, on the banks of the Corrib River was originally the site of the old city [...]

Mid America or South Dublin ?

Our Lady of the Wayside Church is located in Kilternan in south county Dublin. This beautiful little building is locally known as the Blue Church after it's marian colour. It was built in 1929 entirely [...]

Dublin’s Gaudi church

Monkstown Parish Church, Monkstown. County Dublin         1825 Monkstown Parish Church was originally built in 1789 but was re-modelled in 1825 by the famous architect John Semple. Its style is described as 'castellated Gothic with Moorish [...]

St Stephen’s Church, Mount Street Cresent. Dublin City – 1824

This Dublin gem is St Stephen's Church. It was built in 1824 and is fondly known as 'The Pepper Canister' or the 'Pepper Pot Church'. It was originally designed by John Bowden but was completed, [...]

St Mura, the O’Neills & the HMS Laurentic

St Mura's Parish Church is located in the beautiful village of Fahan in co.Donegal. It dates from 1820 and takes it's name from a local saint, Mura, who was a relative of St.Columba. Mura is [...]

A pre-fabricated church, Odlums & Wolfe Tone

This very unusual church is a pre-fabricated structure consisting of a metal exterior and a beautiful wooden interior. The church was consecrated in 1973 however the structure dates from 1924. It was purchased and brought [...]

A church and a castle, John Semple & The wild Irish

St Maelruan's Church located in the most historic part of Tallaght was designed by the famous Dublin architect, John Semple. Christian worship has continued on this site for over 1200 years since St Maelruan founded [...]

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