St. Fin Barre's Cathedral
One of Cork’s most distinctive landmarks, St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral is located where Cork’s Patron Saint founded his first Church and School. It is the diocesan cathedral of the Church of Ireland and the Bishop’s residence is directly opposite the cathedral gate.
St. Fin Barre’s was designed by the notable architect, William Burges, who also designed the stained glass, the sculptures, the mosaics, the furniture and metal work for the interior. The foundation stone was laid in 1865 and the building was consecrated in 1870. The Cathedral is stylistically late 13th century pointed Gothic and is cruciform in shape. It has triple spires with portals to the west front and an abundance of external stone carved detail. Cork limestone and marbles were used throughout the building.
Interesting features include the high columns of the nave made of Bath stone. The walls are lined internally with Cork Red Marble. The iconographic scheme deals with the journey to the new Jerusalem and some of the best stained glass in Ireland show scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The organ, dating from 1889, is placed in the north transept. It is the largest Cathedral Organ in Ireland and the only one in a pit in Britain or Ireland. There is a canon ball dating from the siege of Cork, 1690 and there are over 1200 carvings.
The Cathedral is of major international significance as one of the key buildings of Burges and of nineteenth century architecture in Ireland.