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Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin

Christ Church Cathedral (The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity) in Dublin is the elder of the city's two mediŠval cathedrals, having been founded by St Laurence O'Toole. It has been the seat of the archbishop of Dublin (initially Roman Catholic, then Church of Ireland) since mediŠval times.


Christ Church Cathedral. Founded c.1030
Seat of the Roman Catholic, then Church of Ireland archbishops of Dublin.
The cathedral was built by the Vikings at their original settlement at Wood Quay, alongside the River Liffey quayside. The cathedral was the location of the coronation of Lambert Simnel as 'King Edward VI' a boy pretender who sought unsuccessfully to depose Henry VII of England.

In the seventeenth century, both parliament and the law courts met in buildings built alongside Christ Church. King James II himself presided over a state opening of parliament in that location. However parliament and the law courts both moved else; the law courts to the newly built Four Courts and parliament to Chichester House in Hoggen Green (now College Green).

The cathedral was extensively removated in Victorian times. While the renovation preserved the seriously decayed structure from collapse, it remains difficult as a result to tell which parts of the interior are genuinely mediŠval and which parts are Victorian pastiche. Photographs taken from the exterior show the dramatic nature of the rebuilding done by the Victorians.

The Cathedral famously purported contains the tomb of Strongbow, a mediŠval Welsh peer and warlord who came to Ireland at the request of King Diarmuid MacMorrough and whose arrival marked the beginning of English involvement in Ireland. As with other aspects of Christ Church, the tomb in the nave is not actually Strongbow's: the original tomb having been destroyed centuries ago, an unconnected mediŠval tomb was moved soon afterwards from a church in Drogheda to Christ Church, placed on the site of Strongbow's tomb and identified as Strongbow's. The cathedral does genuinely contain the largest cathedral crypt in Britain or Ireland. Having been recently renovated it is now open for visitors. It contains various monuments, a carved statue that until the late eighteenth century stood outside the Tholsel (Dublin's mediŠval city hall which no longer exists) and a set of candlesticks which were used when the cathedral last operated (for a very short time) under the Roman rite, when the Catholic King James II, having fled England in 1690, came to Ireland to fight for his throne and attended High Mass in the temporarily catholicised Christ Church.