St Mary’s Cathedral Kilkenny is one of the best-preserved Gothic cathedrals in Ireland.
While visiting Kilkenny you can’t notice this massive church from a distance. St Mary’s is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ossory, situated on James’s Street in Kilkenny City.
Moreover, the 13th-century St Mary’s church and graveyard in Kilkenny is one of the finest examples of a medieval church in Ireland.
Variously referred to as “St Mary’s”, “the church of St Kieran” and “the Cathedral of the Assumption”.
Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny was designed by William Deane Butler (c.1794-1857).
What’s more, Bishop William Kinsella (1793-1845) chose him, who instigated the building of St. Mary’s in February 1842. Work began in April 1843 and finished in 1857. On Sunday 4 October 1857, St. Mary’s had its grand opening, which consisted of a two-and-three-quarter hour ceremony that began at 6.15 am. The cost of the building is estimated to have been £25,000.
St. Mary’s is made from cut limestone which was sourced locally. The cathedral has a cruciform plan and its style is described as ‘Early English Gothic’ and the design is believed to have been based on Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester, England. Situated on the highest point in Kilkenny City and is a significant local landmark.
Furthermore, this impressive Cathedral’s tower stands at a remarkable 186 feet. It holds a statue of ‘Our Lady’ by the sculptor Benzoni who also sculpted the O’Connell Monument in the Irish College in Rome.
Below are photos I took in August 2021.