Dublin has 2 main cathedrals. Christ Church Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral as well as a Pro-Cathedral – St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral (a churche serving as an interim Cathedral in Marlborough Street, in Dublin). The main cathedrals are popular as sights among visitors to Dublin providing a historical context for Dublin life from as far back as the 11th century medieval period.
Christ Church Cathedral (or, more formally known as, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity) is the elder of the Dublin’s two medieval cathedrals, the other being St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is officially claimed as the seat (cathedra) of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin although in law and in fact it is the cathedral of only the Church of Ireland's Archbishop of Dublin since the English Reformation.
Christ Church Cathedral is located in the former heart of medieval Dublin, next to Wood Quay at the end of Lord Edward Street, behind new civil offices along the quays.
The Cathedral was used as a backdrop to the hit drama "the Tudors" and many original costumes worn by Maria Doyle Kennedy (Catherine of Aragon) and Jonathon Rhys Myers (King Henry) are available on view within the crypt.
Founded probably sometime after 1028 the Cathedral’s first bishop of the new Dublin diocese was Dúnán or Donat, and the diocese was at that time a small island of land surrounded by the much larger diocese of Glendalough. The church was built on the high ground overlooking the Viking settlement at Wood Quay and King Sitric gave the "lands of Baldoyle, Raheny and Portrane for its maintenance."
Christ Church was converted to a priory by the second Archbishop of Dublin, later saint, Laurence O’Toole at which time it became the wealthiest religious house in Ireland, holding over 10,000 acres (40 km2) of property in County Dublin alone.
During the Norman period Henry II attended the Christmas service at the cathedral in 1171. King Henry received Holy Communion at that service the first following the murder of Thomas Beckett by Henry's knights in Canterbury.
In the 1180s, Strongbow and other Normans helped to fund a complete rebuilding of Christ Church, initially a wooden building, in stone.
In 1480 the wealthy judge William Sutton left all his lands and silver to the Cathedral.
The cathedral was the location of the purported coronation, in 1487, of Lambert Simnel, a boy pretender who sought unsuccessfully to depose Henry VII of England as "King Edward VI".
The cathedral was extensively renovated and rebuilt from 1871 to 1878, with the sponsorship of distiller Henry Roe of Mount Anville. Roe had a distillery nearby. The cost of tgat renovation was equivalent in today's value to euros 26 million.
Christ Church also contains the largest cathedral crypt (63.4m long) in Britain or Ireland, constructed in 1172-1173. Having been renovated in the early 2000s, it is now open for visitors. It houses the Dublinia exhibition about medieval Dublin in its Synod Hall.
March and October - 9.30-18.00
April - September - 9.30-19.00
November to February - 9.30-17.00
March and October - 12.30-14.30 /16.30-18.00
April - September - 12.30 – 14.30 /16.30 – 19.00
November - February - 12.30-14.30
Please note: Last admission is 45 minutes before closing.
On Wednesdays and Thursdays during term time where the Cathedral Choir or the Girl Choristers are singing evensong the cathedral will have last entry at 17.15 in order to prepare.
The Cathedral is open every day except the 26th of December. No charges are made for those who come to join worship or who wish to pray privately. Everyone is welcome.
Please note there may be some restricted access due to services and events so please check for alterations prior to your visit. You can find out more information about service times.