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 wooden church here in c.1028. The first stone building here was built in 1172 after the conquest of Dublin by Strongbow. Its style changed over time and evolved from Norman to Early English Gothic in the 14th century. It was one of the major pilgrimage sites in the medieval period and started to amass an important collection of relics ranging from a miraculous speaking cross to a piece from the crib of Jesus. Today, it is still possible to see some of these unusual relics including the heart of Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin. You can also see a mummified cat & rat which are locally known as Tom & Jerry. These characters are mentioned by James Joyce in Finnegan’s wake. Although the Cathedral was heavily restored by the distiller Henry Roe in the 1870s you can still see some of its original Norman and Early English Gothic structures.