The interior of St Fin Barre's Cathedral boasts many interesting architectural details and pieces of art. The booklet you will get on paying your admission fee of EUR 3 (1.5 if you are a student or a child) will point them all out to you. For me the most interesting was the colourful pulpit with representations of the four evangelists and St Paul carved around it. I also loved the plaques and coats-of-arms on the walls in the walk way behind the chancel and the fantastic stained-glass windows representing stories from the New Testament, all designed by William Burges.
One of the more interesting cathedral exhibits is the 24 lb cannonball, shot from Elisabeth Fort just east of the Cathedral during the siege of Cork in 1690. Lodged in the spire of the mediaeval cathedral, it was discovered only on its demolition in 1865.
More pictures of the interior of the Cathedral can be found in my travelogue.
There are two cathedrals in Cork: the Roman Catholic St Mary's Cathedral and the Church of Ireland St Fin Barre's Cathedral.
The first monastery on the site of St Fin Barre's Cathedral is believed to have been established by St Fin Barre himself in around 606 A.D. The present, eleventh building of the Cathedral, amazingly ornate, was designed in the Neo-Gothic style by the English architect William Burges and erected between 1865 and 1870. Its magnificent facade abounds in statues, gargoyles and scenes from the Bible in bas-relief.
If you look up at the cathedral from Bishop Street, you will see the statue of the Golden Angel, who, according to legend, is going to blow her horn when the end of the world comes.
In 1999 both her horns were stolen during construction work, causing understandable confusion: how would the Corkonians learn about the end of the world now? Fortunately, the horns were found some time later to everybody's relief.
Well, I just had to make St Fin Barre's Cathedral my first stop of my visit. It is designed by fantasy neo-Gothic architect William Burges, who also designed two Castles at Cardiff (my home city).
The Cathedral, just outside the city centre, is a lovely squat composition of roofs and spires. And covered with carvings and gargoyles for good measure. This is not an ancient cathedral - Burgess died around 1880 - and Cork's cathedral was 'finished' in 1870.
Unfortunately all the colourful paintwork that Burges had carefully planned was not added. So you will have to go to Cardiff Castle or Castell Coch in Wales to see some of that. But there is still a nice ceiling over the chancel and some nice furnishings made of red Cork marble.
And some really very nice stained glass. For instance, above you, a big Rose Window showing God creating Earth, and twelve high windos showing the Signs of the Zodiac.
Altogether, a very cute bit of architecture!
P.S. there is a charge to enter, pay at the gift shop, not much - a couple of Euros, which probably pays for a few seconds heating!!
St Finbarr's Cathedral (Dean Street)
The French Gothic style of the Cathedral gives impressive architectural views. Built in the XIXth and designed by William Burges, the cathedral is part of the Anglican Church of Ireland. Christian worship has been offered on the site of the present Cathedral since the VIIth century.
Church of St. Anne Shandon
Saint Annes church is a much loved local landmark since 1722. Its famous chime of 8 bells made by Rudal of Gloucester together weigh over 6 tonnes. Its walls are 7ft thick and has both a sandstone and limestone facing, from which Cork takes its colours red and white. The clock is affectionately known as a four faced liar, since the east and west facings tell slightly different times. The panoramic view of the city is well worth the climb.
Holy Trinity Friary and Church
Holy Trinity is also well worth the visit. The location is on Fr. Mathew Quay in the heart of Cork City where it has overlooked the River Lee since the XVIIIth century.
Everybody visits St Finbar's Cathedral, one of Cork's most beautiful buildings but not everybody fully explores the grounds. There are some tombstones but it is much more a garden than a graveyard and an absolute oasis of peace and tranquility. Behind the old wall surrounding the cathedral is Dean Street , a narrow street of tall grey houses reminiscent of Victorian parsonages. These were the dwellings of the cathredral staff and some are now used as a hostel and an artists collective.
If you go to the end of this street and turn right you will come to Barrack Street and Elizabth Fort. Barrack street is not what you would call picturesque but it is narrow and hilly and very much traditional Cork. Some scenes from the film version of Angela's Ashes were filmed here a few years ago.
St Finbar's Cathedral grounds are open every day. Admission is free but there is a small charge to visit the inside of the cathedral.
Overlooking river Lee, St. Finbarr’s Cathedral is one of the most prominent features of Cork City whose fabulous architecture can easily be detected from all over town. In actual fact, its location also marks the founding spot from which the city of Cork finally emerged.
It was named after St. Finbarr who had spent most of his early life in solitary contemplation in beautiful Gougane Barra (West Cork) before he accepted the invitation of two local chieftains and around the year 606 settled in the area of what is now St. Finbarr’s Cathedral.
He quickly established a school (located at the site of present day University College Cork (UCC) on Western Road) and a monastery that occupies the current Cathedral.
The present building is the eleventh church since St. Finbarr’s original monastery. It is one of the nicest churches on the island. Just watch out for those goblins and take a close look at the Golden Angel outside the East wing: Local legend has it that the start of the apocalypse will be marked by the angel blowing into his horn.
Both the neo-gothic outside as well the inside were designed by English architect William Burges. Built between 1865-1870, it was opened to the public as a Church of Ireland Cathedral on November 30, 1870.
Very few things in Irish life are still free, so it comes as no surprise that you will be charged €3 for visiting the Cathedral during the weekdays, i.e. outside of regular times of worship.
Opening hours are from 09:00-17:00 in autumn and winter, between 09:00-17:30 in the warmer months.
Once inside watch out for Burges’ stained glass windows, the North aisle with its coat of arms, the pulpit showing St. Paul on an upturned pagan altar and the four evangelists together with their symbols (a human figure for St. Matthew, a lion for St. Mark, an ox for St. Luke and an eagle for St. John), the Cathedral’s organ, the magnificent Bishop’s Throne carved of oak and with a figure of St. Finbarr towards the top as well as the ambulatory with its magnificent marble mosaics.
Summer Opening Times
Sunday 12:30 - 17:00
Winter Opening Times
10:00 - 12:45
14:00 - 17:00
(Closed Bank Holidays)
Under 18 €1.50
Student over 18 with I.D. €1.50
St. Finbarr's Cathedral is named after the saint who founded Cork. Of fairly recent vintage (1867-1879) it stands on ground that is said to be the site of St. Finbarr's monastic settledment (c. 650), . The present Church of Ireland structure is a multi-spired Early French Gothic church, known for its elaborate scriptural carvings, mosaic pavements and great rose window. Open daily.
In a country like Ireland, you would expect he most splendid church building to be Catholic. However, the Gothic Revival period – one of the most chraracteristic in British history – coincided with a period of British dominance (not to say opression). That left some late 19th and early 20th century Protestant churches in Ireland.
Cork Cathedral was built in 1863 and dedicated to Saint Fin Barre. It replaced a predecessor building which once stood on the same spot which is believed to be the site of a monastery founded by Saint Fin Barre. The last details of the Cathedral were finished in the early 20th century. The golden angel on top was dobnated by the architect of the church, William Burges. It is said that its horns would announce the end of the world when it comes – they disappeared for a short time in 1999 during refurbishment works...
There is an admission fee of 5,00 EUR (2013), reduced prices apply to children and students while a chapel is open for free if you just come for a prayer. The booklet which you get with the entry fee is pretty good and will guide you through the Cathedral. There are always smaller exhibitions in the Cathedral which are included in the price. Ask at the gift shop for guided tours.
If you are looking for the Roman Catholic Cathedral, visit the North Cathedral (St. Mary & St. Anne) in the northern part of Shandon.
We took a walk out to St Finbar's Cathedral when we spent a day exploring Cork. It's a magnificent-looking building a little way from the heart of town, and stands on the site of a monastery founded in the 7th century by St Finbar himself.
St. Finbarre's is one of the major landmarks of Cork and can be seen all the way from the harbour.
Cork's Church of Ireland cathedral - it is on the site of the original monastic settlement of St. Finbar / Finnbarre / Finn Barr (gaeil Fionn Barra) which was founded in the 8th century. A church has stood on this site ever since.
It is from this site that the city of Cork grew.
The present-day cathedral is a wonderful gothic affair and is well worth a visit to view it's magnificent interior.
St Finbarres Cathedral is dedicated to the founder of Cork who is also Corks patron saint built in 1878 by Willam Burges in a gothic style ,inside is a painted and glided apse ceiling which shows chirst in glory surrounded by angels.
There is a golden angel statue outside a gift to the citizens of cork from Willam Burges
the Bishop of St Finbarres married Posh and Becks in Ireland a few years ago.
The 19th century French gothic cathedral with its three spires stands on the site of a 6th century monastery, founded by St Finbarr, who also founded Cork in the 7th century.
St. Finbarre's is a magnificent cathedral and the local cathedral for the Anglican Church of Ireland. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in the city of Cork.
Although it's not one of the most exciting sites to see in Cork it is one of the loveliest. The statues decorating the front of the cathedral are incredible.