History and Infomation

Features

The Romanesque Doorway

The 12th century doorway may have been from an earlier cathedral built by Donal Mor O'Brien. It is a very good example of Irish Romanesque stone carving. "Chevrons" or v-shaped carvings, strange animals with their tails wrapped around the hair of human heads and fine honeysuckle ornaments abound. It has over 130 patterns of plants and animals - no two exactly alike.

The two grave slabs at the base of the door date to the 12th century. They are reputed to mark the burial place of Muircheartach O'Brien, King of Munster, who died while on pilgrimage to Killaloe in 1119.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Ogham Stone

Ogham is an old Gaelic form of writing which is often found carved on standing stones. This example, discovered in 1916 and dating to about 1,000AD is unusual in that it also bears an inscription in Runes, a Scandinavian script. It may have been carved by a Viking who was converted to Christianity. The runes read:

"Thorgrimr carved this cross and the Ogham: A blessing on Thorgrimr"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The High Cross

This is a 12th century High Cross which originally stood in Kilfenora in north west Clare. It was brought to Killaloe in 1821 by Bishop Mant who was an amateur archaeologist.


The Oak Screen

The large oak screen was erected in 1885. Its main function was to conserve heat for small congregations , but the lower and middle panels open to allow for larger numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Font

This rectangular font is from the 13th century and is carved on one face with a typical cross and foliage design. The font was originally a "table" or "polypod" font and would have been mounted on five legs and a square plinth. These are now lost, and it was set up on the present base by Bishop Mant in 1821.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The East Window

This is one of the most remarkable features of the Cathedral, 11 metres high and nearly 5 metres wide. The three lights symbolise the Holy Trinity and the figures portrayed are those of Christ surrounded by the twelve apostles. The stonework of the arches is also rich and intricate in design. The stained glass was erected in 1865 in memory of the Hon. Ludlow Tonson (Bishop from 1839-62) and was designed by Messrs Warrington of London.

 

Romanesque Doorway

Romanesque Doorway

Ogham Stone

Ogham Stone

High Cross and Oak Screen

High Cross and Oak Screen

The Font

The Font

East Window

East Window