CountyArmaghARMAGHArmaghCathedral(tourismnorthernireland©NITB)2 ©TourismNorthernIreland

Armagh Cathedral

As the seat of both Catholic and Anglican Archbishops, Amargh is still the Ecclesiastical Capital of Ireland, the Anglican medieval church has been sympathetically restored over centuries and celebrates its connection with St Patrick.

Armagh, County Armagh

Opening times

April to October: 9am to 5pm.
November to March 9am to 4pm.
Entry charge applies.

Address

Abbey Street
Armagh
County Armagh
BT61 7DY

The origins of the cathedral are related to the construction in 445 of a stone church on the Druim Saileach (Willow Ridge) hill by St Patrick, around which a monastic community developed. The church was historically the centre of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, having been transferred to the Protestant Church of Ireland by the British government during the Irish Reformation. Following the Henrician Reformation in Ireland the cathedral became increasingly associated with the then established church and has been definitively in Anglican hands since the reign of Elizabeth I. A Roman Catholic cathedral was built on a neighbouring hill in the 19th century. Cordial relations exist between both cathedrals. 

The church itself has been destroyed and rebuilt 17 times. The edifice was renovated and restored under Dean Eoghan McCawell (1505-1549) at the start of the sixteenth century having suffered from a devastating fire in 1511 and being in poor shape. Soon after his death the cathedral was described by Lord Chancellor Cusack as ‘one of the fairest and best churches in Ireland’.

Again it was substantially restored between 1834 and 1840. The fabric remains that of the medieval buildings but much restored. While Cottingham was heavy handed in his restoration, the researches of TGF Patterson and Janet Myles in the late 20th century have shown the restoration to have been notably antiquarian for its time. The tracery of the nave windows in particular are careful restorations as is the copy of the font. The capital decoration of the two western most pillars of the nave are medieval as are the bulk of the external gargoyle carvings of the parapet of the eastern arm. Subsequent restorations have more radically altered the internal proportions of the medieval building, proportions which Cottingham had retained. Many other Celtic and medieval carvings are to be seen within the cathedral which is also rich in 18th and 19th century sculpture.


Enjoy a virtual tour of Armagh Cathedral here.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Train station within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Non-accessible toilets in church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Church shop or souvenirs

  • Café within 500m

  • Café in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Church of Ireland

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Patrick's Cathedral

Armagh, County Armagh

The seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland.

St Luke

Loughgall, County Armagh

This late Georgian church in a simple Gothic style is located in the village of Loughgall in the heart of Co Armagh's apple growing countryside.

St Patrick

Benburb, County Tyrone

Clonfeacle Parish Church Benburb is a Plantation church dating from 1618 and is one of the oldest churches in the Diocese of Armagh still in regular use, standing witness to events in Irish history over the past 400 years, notably the Battle of Benburb in 1646.