It is one of the most magnificent neo-Gothic cathedrals in Ireland.
Designed by one of the greatest English architects of the 19th century, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.
He designed some of the most iconic and popular buildings at the time he lived. He designed palaces lots of cathedrals and civil and royal also such as the Houses of Parliament in London.
St Aidan’s Cathedral is a monumental cathedral. And it is the largest building in Ireland constructed to designs prepared by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852). Reputedly based on Tintern Abbey in Wales.
Constructed in dressed local stone, including stone salvaged from a nearby ruined Franciscan Friary.
St. Aidan’s Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns.
Therefore, the saint to whom the cathedral is dedicated is Máedóc of Ferns (feast day 31 January). Also known as Áedan or Aidan, died in 626.
The first, thatched cathedral was built in Enniscorthy in 1809 on land donated by the Earl of Portsmouth. And the town became the episcopal center of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns.
Saint Aidan’s has been described as Pugin’s ‘Irish Gem’ and inside the cathedral Pugin’s achievements are splendid.
Enniscorthy’s Cathedral has an impressive facade, a long-aisled nave, altars, stained glass windows, holy images, and statues. Among them are the Stained Glass of John the Evangelist, the Stained Glass of St. Máedóc of Ferns (Aidan), and a Pietà statue. Impressive stained glass windows and the roof is like an upturned ark.
The interior contains stained glass panels by Lobin of Tours, Mayer of Munich, and Earley of Dublin. Also, a pipe organ was supplied by White and Son, Dublin. And an altar signed by James Pearse (1839-1900) and Edmund Sharpe (1853-1930) of Dublin.
St Aidan’s Cathedral is open every day with weekends busy with masses, confessions, and worshippers. Inside it is peaceful and calm and a beautiful place to light a candle and pray.
I`ve been there on Sunday just before mass started and I was delighted. Men played the piano and a woman was singing.
For more information visit: staidanscathedral.ie
Location of St. Aidan’s Cathedral:
Below are photos I took in April 2022.