Ref: K101

St. Brigid's Cathedral

Townland: Kildare Parish: Kildare (Kildare)
Denomination: C of I Diocese: Meath & Kildare (C of I)
Grid Ref: 272855(E), 212458(N) Status: Open
Record of Protected Structures (RPS): No Record of Monuments and Places (RMP): KD022-029003
Boundary Treatment: Rough coursed stone wall, 2-3m high. Modern wire fence marks the boundary in the NE corner.
Natural Heritage Details: 5-10 mature and 5-10 young trees dispersed throughout; semi-natural grassland covers a small percentage of surface area in NE corner; mown grass covers the rest of the surface except paths; lichens visible on 95% of gravestones; limited ivy cover on boundary walls.
Description: K101 is located in the centre of Kildare town in the grounds of St. Brigid's Cathedral. It is marked on both the 1st edition OS 6" map and the 1897-1913 OS 25" map. It is accessed via a gate in the SW corner of the boundary which opens onto a gravel path leading to and partially around the Cathedral. The well preserved round tower in the NE of the enclosure is also accessible using this path. The only other structural remains are on the east side of the Cathedral. "St. Brigid's Fire Temple" is just east of the middle of the Cathedral. It survives in plan to a height of 50cm approx. Gravestones date from 18th-20th century. There are vaults to the south of the Cathedral. One dates from the 14th century, while the other is of unknown date. There is a 17th century family tomb beside the SE corner of the Cathedral.
Appraisal: The site is of considerable archaeological, architectural and historic interest, attesting to the long-standing ecclesiastical presence in the area. The pre-Norman monastic settlement associated with St Brigid dates to the 5th century and was originally founded for women. The existing cathedral is the successor to the pre-Norman church. It consists of a nave, chancel, crossing tower and transepts. Features of note are the round tower (H 32m) which has a Romanesque doorway in red sandstone, an undercoated ringed granite cross, a cross base and a collection of cross slabs, grave slabs and decorated stones dating from the 10th-17th centuries. In addition, the graveyard contains various cut-stone grave markers from the 18th-20th centuries, which are of artistic and historic interest.
Record Of Inscriptions: Recorded by: FAS
Location: Co. Kildare Online Electronic History Journal and

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