Monthly Archives: July 2013

Lady Chapel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral opens to the public.

Now opening again after restoration, the Lady Chapel(chapel of St. Mary) section of St. Patrick’s cathedral was completed around the year 1270 and founded by Archbishop Fulk De Saundford. It has seen a few renovations over the centuries. The chapel was used by the huguenot settlers who fled after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 by Louis XIV, and were also allocated the cabbage garden plot nearby for burials. With those associations it became known as the “French chapel”. Dean Henry Pakenham restored the chapel after it had fallen into ruin due to various reasons(dampness, flooding, structural decay etc.), and also by the philanthropist Benjamin Lee Guinnesss, who restored the entire cathedral and grounds in the 1860’s. During that restoration oak chairs were discovered that were made from a collapsed oak roof of the cathedral, and the chapel also was a place that William III attended service(the chair he sat in is still there too). The Lady chapel is thought to be styled on the chapter house of Salisbury Cathedral.
Here is an old picture of the chapel, and it seems to compare favourably with its newly refurbished look.

st patrick's lady chapel chap

The chapel will  now be part of the cathedral tour. Other obvious associations of the cathedral are that of former Dean Jonathan Swift of Gulliver’s travels fame, the stone which marked the  well where St. Patrick reputedly baptised converts, and the famous door of reconciliation through which the Fitzgeralds and Butlers shook hands in 1492 and led to the phrase “chancing your arm”.

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