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63c. St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

SCENES from IRELAND - County Kilkenny

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

63a. Kilkenny Castle and Design Centre 63b. Rothe House * 63c. Kilkenny Cathedral * 63d. The 'Black Abbey'

63e. St Mary's Medieval Mile Museum * 63f St Mary's Catholic Cathedral

Worship has taken place at the site of St Canice Cathedral for over 800 years. It contains fine stained glass windows and many historic monuments within this magnificent building and 9th century round tower. St Canice/Cainneach

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Sculpture of CAINNEACH, modern bust of Saint Canice, St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

St Canice Cathedral KilkennySt Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Some carvings on a building near the round tower of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

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St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

One of the entrances to the precinct of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny, and you walk by the round towers.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The round tower was built in AD 849.

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The current cathedral building was started in 1202 under the management of Bishop Hugh de Mapilton and the work was completed under Bishop Geoffrey St Ledger by 1285. In 1332 the bell tower collapsed and was never replaced

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Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Considerable restoration work was done in 1843-1877, 1959-1962 and 1982-1985.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Looking down the nave to the chancel of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny  St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Left: The nave. Right: The altar and east window in the chancel of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

A broader easterly view of the chancel end of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Looking west down the nave of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny, and the fine arches of the south and north aisles.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: One of several magnificently carved medieval tombs in the Cathedral.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

The medieval and later tomb carvings are superb in St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Looking east down the nave, with the north aisle (left) and south aisle (right), through the chancel arch to the altar and the east window..

Kilkenny Cathedral

 

Kilkenny Cathedral Kilkenny Cathedral

Elaborately carved cross-slab gravestones in St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

Typical of the fine stained glass windows in St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The Kyteler slab - The Bishop Ledrede and the Alice Kyteler Witchcraft case - The slab was found outside the home of Dame Alice Kyteler, Kilkenny's famous witch!

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The tomb of James Shortals and Katherine Whyte 1507. The inscription reads "Here lie JAMES SCHORTALS, Lord of Ballylarkin and Ballykeefe who had this tomb made in 1507 and his wife KATHERINE WHYTE". It was the fashion of the time to commission your tomb while you were still alive, which he still was in 1534 aged ~70!

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The richly carved side of James Shortals Tomb - The figures are St. Peter, Paul, James minor, Thomas, Bartholomew and John.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The tomb of John Grace 1552 and his wife Honorina Brenach. The tomb is signed by Rory O'Tunny with six Apostles along the side (see picture below).

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The finely carved sides of  John Grace's tomb, the Crucifixion at the end and six apostles along the side..

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

?

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: A few examples of fine stone carving can still be seen on the capitals of the pillars.

Kilkenny Cathedral

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: This is probably the oldest tomb in the Cathedral, it is either that of Bishop Hugh de Mapilton (1251-1260) or Bishop Geffrey Dt. Ledger (1260-1287).

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Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The mighty columns supporting the arches of the nave aisles.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The rib vaulting under the tower was added purely for decorative purposes in 1475.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Looking through the chancel arch into the aisled chancel.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The altar and east window. The east window depicts many scenes in the life of Christ. The original window was installed in the 14th century but in 1650 it was completely destroyed by Cromwell's army. Fortunately drawings of the window had been made in the 14th century so that the window could be 'reproduced' and reinstated in 1875.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The fine woodwork of the hammer beam roof of the chancel.

Kilkenny Cathedral

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The tomb? of Bishop Richard Ledrede, known as the most illustrious Bishop of Ossory in the 14th century. He was responsible for bringing to trial the famous Kilkenny witch Dame Alice Kyteler. He repainted the half-ruined cathedral and embellished it with a magnificent east window depicting scenes from the life of Christ.

Kilkenny Cathedral

Tomb? detail of previous picture.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

The (now deceased in February 2019) 'hawkish' Cathedral cat calcifer on one of the Butler tombs in St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The tombs of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ossory (died 1539) and his wife Margaret Fitzgerald (died 1542).

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Tomb of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ossory and his wife Margaret Fitzgerald

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Tomb of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ossory and his wife Margaret Fitzgerald

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Tomb of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ossory and his wife Margaret Fitzgerald

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Tomb of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ossory and his wife Margaret Fitzgerald

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Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Tomb of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ossory and his wife Margaret Fitzgerald

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Tomb of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ossory and his wife Margaret Fitzgerald

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Tomb of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ossory and his wife Margaret Fitzgerald

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: Grave stone of James Butler 9th Earl of Ossory

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: James Butler 9th Earl of Ossory

 

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: The tomb of James Butler 9th Earl of Ossory

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral, Kilkenny: James Butler 9th Earl of Ossory

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

Kilkenny Cathedral

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

 

Kilkenny Cathedral

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St Canice Cathedral KilkennySt Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

 

 

 


The Round Tower of St Canice Cathedral

St Canice Cathedral KilkennySt Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

The entrance to the round tower of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Climbing up inside the round tower of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

You get great views of Kilkenny for the platform at the top of the round tower.

 

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny  St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

A view of the ruins of St Francis Abbey, Kilkenny.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Looking down on the town centre of Kilkenny.

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

View of St Mary's RC Cathedral (top left) and the Black Abbey from the round tower of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

See  The 'Black Abbey' and St Mary's Catholic Cathedral

 

St Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

 

St Canice Cathedral KilkennySt Canice Cathedral Kilkenny

Right: Looking down on what was the Loretta Convent Secondary School for 'young ladies' where a certain Mary O'Shea (now 'Molly Brown'!) went to school.

see images of panels

 


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More on the history of St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny (adapted from Wikipedia)

St Canice's Cathedral, also known as Kilkenny Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Kilkenny city, Ireland. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Dublin. St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny was previously the cathedral of the Diocese of Ossory, it is now one of six cathedrals in the United Dioceses of Cashel and Ossory.

The present St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny building dates from the 13th century and is the second longest cathedral in Ireland, after St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Beside the cathedral stands a 100 ft 9th-century round tower. St Canice's tower is an example of a well-preserved 9th-century "Celtic Christian" round tower. It is dedicated to St Canice. It is one of only three such medieval round towers in Ireland that can still be climbed to the top, the other two being Kildare Round Tower in Kildare Town and Devenish Round Tower in County Fermanagh.

St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny stands on the site of a Celtic Christian monastery said to have been founded in the sixth century by St Canice as a daughter house of Aghaboe Abbey. The Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111, which first divided Ireland into territorial dioceses, included both Aghaboe and Kilkenny in the Diocese of Ossory, with the episcopal see at Kilkenny, the capital of the Kingdom of Ossory. Thus the abbey church became the cathedral. The erroneous belief that the see was originally at Aghaboe and later transferred to Kilkenny is traced by John Bradley to a 16th-century misinterpretation of a 13th-century property transfer.

Following the English Reformation, the reformed church in Ireland was established by decree of the Irish Parliament to become the state church in the Kingdom of Ireland as the Church of Ireland, taking possession of most church property (and so retaining a great repository of religious architecture and other items, though some were later destroyed). The substantial majority of the population, however, remained faithful to Roman Catholicism, despite the political and economic advantages of membership in the state church. Since St Canice's Cathedral was taken over in this way, Roman Catholic adherents were consequently obliged to worship elsewhere. St Mary's Cathedral in Kilkenny was later built for the Roman Catholic diocese.

St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny contains some 16th-century monuments. The architectural style of the cathedral is Early Gothic and is built of limestone. It is richly endowed with many stained glass windows, including the East window which is a replica of the original 13th-century window. St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny contains some of the finest 16th-century monuments in Ireland.

Kilkenny was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Ossory and St Canice's Cathedral stands on a site which has experienced Christian worship since the 6th century. The name of "Kilkenny" itself retains the anglicised version of the Irish Cill Chainnigh, which translates as "Church of Cainneach", or "Canice". The earliest church on the site is presumed to have been made of wood, later to be replaced in the later medieval period by a Romanesque-style stone church. This was in turn replaced by the current imposing medieval cathedral. A few yards from the present south transept stands an imposing 9th-century round tower, 100 ft high.[4] Accessible only by a steep set of internal ladders, it may once have been both a watchtower and a refuge. The summit gives a clear view of Kilkenny and the countryside around. The hill on which the cathedral stands is believed to be the centre of the first major settlement at Kilkenny, and the round tower suggests an early ecclesiastical foundation.[5] Much less is known about the early secular structures, but the area around the cathedral, called Irishtown, is the oldest part of the present city.

There is no mention of Kilkenny in the lives of Cainnech of Aghaboe, Ciarán of Saighir or any of the early annals of Ireland suggesting that in those times it was not of great importance. The Annals of the Four Masters recorded entries for Cill Chainnigh in 1085 ("Ceall-Cainnigh was for the most part burned") and again in 1114 ("... Cill-Cainnigh ... were all burned this year"). The present building was begun in the 13th century, when it was at the western end of Kilkenny, and shows some similarities to St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, both dating from the same period and completed by the end of the 13th century. In the Red Book of Ossory, fifteen pages dating from about 1324 contain sixty Latin verses, or Cantilenae, written by Richard de Ledrede, Bishop of Ossory, best known for his connection with trials for heresy and witchcraft. As stated elsewhere in the Red Book, Ledred wrote these verses "for the Vicars Choral of Kilkenny Cathedral, his priests and clerics, to be sung on great festivals and other occasions, that their throats and mouths, sanctified to God, might not be polluted with theatrical, indecent, and secular songs."

The cathedral was "restored" between 1844 and 1867 without the removal of any important medieval features. Cruciform, the cathedral was built in the Early English, or English Gothic, style of architecture, of limestone, with a low central tower supported on black marble columns. The exterior walls, apart from the gables, are embattled, and there are two small spires at the west end. The cathedral is seventy-five yards long, and its width along the transepts is forty-one yards. Inside St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny, we have high pointed arches form entrances from the nave into the choir and the two transepts. Between the nave and each aisle is a row of five black marble clustered columns, with high moulded arches. The nave is lighted by a large west window and five clerestory windows, while the aisles each have four windows. The choir has a groined ceiling with fine tracery and a central group of cherubs. The baptismal font is medieval and the ancient stone of enthronement for bishops still exists under the seat of the medieval throne in the North Transept, where to this day the bishops of Ossory are enthroned.

St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny, contains some of the finest ancient monuments in Ireland, including one to Bishop David, and the tombs of many bishops of Ossory and several owners of Kilkenny Castle. The subjects of the memorials stretch widely across the social spectrum, from the great figures of the House of Ormonde to the humble shoemaker and carpenter. In the north transept is the ancient Chair of St Kieran, made of carved stone,[4] still used as the chair of enthronement for the Church of Ireland Bishops of Cashel and Ossory. There are continental carvings on the choir stalls and the hammerbeam roof. The cathedral has many stained glass windows, including the fine East window, which is a replica of the 13th-century original. On the eastern side of the south transept is the consistory court, built by Bishop Pococke, with the chapter house to the north of it. From the north transept a dark passage leads into St Mary's chapel, where the services of St Canice's parish once took place, and a later parish church next to it holds the tomb of Bishop Gafney (died 1576). Despite some 19th-century restoration, the cathedral has been carefully preserved in its original style and form. Near the cathedral's east end is Bishop's Palace.

St. Canice's Library was established in 1693 by Bishop Thomas Otway, it contains many theological documents and artifacts particularly relating to Bishop Otway and Bishop Edward Maurice from the 17th and 18th centuries. In 2013 the Maurice Otway collection was loaned to Maynooth College for restoration and safe keeping; earlier some documents has been moved to Church of Ireland Representative Body house in Dublin.


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63a. Kilkenny Castle and Design Centre 63b. Rothe House * 63c. Kilkenny Cathedral * 63d. The 'Black Abbey'

63e. St Mary's Medieval Mile Museum * 63f St Mary's Catholic Cathedral


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