St. Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral - Armagh City

St. Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral - Armagh City

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Saint Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral stands on the hill from which the City of Armagh derives its name – Ard Macha - the hill of Macha. It is this hilltop enclosure which St. Patrick acquired and within which he built his first ‘Great Stone Church’ in 445 AD.

After the death of Patrick the church became a centre of a monastic settlement and for many centuries Armagh was a celebrated seat of learning, attracting students from all over Europe. In 1014 the remains of High King Brian Boru of Ireland were brought to the hill of Armagh for internment in a spot indicated today by a stone inscription on the exterior west wall of the north transept. The plan of the Cathedral, as it now stands, is the enlarged design of Archbishop O’Scanlain in 1268 - although the Church on this hallowed site suffered destruction on at least 17 occasions throughout the centuries.

Interesting features to be seen in the cathedral today include silverware from 1796, the unusual staircase to the bell tower, and the various stone carvings inside the Cathedral, some of which date from 500-1000BC.

Nowadays two full choral services each Sunday and one daily service are offered. For the wider community, the Cathedral hosts ecumenical and civic services, stages concerts and recitals and is used by schools and organisations on other occasions.

Opening times in April – October are from 9.00am – 5.00pmand in November – March from 9.00am – 4.00pm. As the Cathedral receives no state funding visitors are invited to make a small donation to assist with the preservation of this historic building.

Across the valley on Sandy Hill the twin-spires of St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral can be spotted.

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