View of the ruins of Saint Brigid's Cathedral, Kildare, seen from the north. The ruined tower stands on the left-hand side, with what is left of the nave developing to the right, overgrown by vegetation. In the foreground and to the right two figures are observing the building, with their backs turned towards the viewer.
|Subject(s)||Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture|
|Keywords(s)||Archaeological sites, Buildings, Churches, Hats, People, Ruins, Towers|
|Dimensions||15.9 cm x 20.3 cm|
|Published / created||1800|
|Travel Account||Journal of a tour from London to Shrewsbury, North Wales, Dublin and Chester|
|Print or manuscript||Manuscript|
|Location of image in copy||opp. p. 101|
|Source copy||National Library of Ireland MS Joly 34|
This is a link to a digital copy hosted by an external website.
|Rights||Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland|
Related text from travel account
|The intermediate space we employed in reconnoitring the Town [i.e. Kildare]; three fourths of which lies in ruins. We happened to fall in with a Mr. Cooper, the son of an Englishman, from Yorkshire, who, in a most polite manner tendered his services to show us the church & the ruins of an ancient Cathedral, called St. Bridgets.
This place is a Bishops’ See, who by virtue of it, is likewise a Dean of Christ Church, Dublin; in the time of the Danes, must have been a place of considerable note, as is observable from the ruins of a large Cathedral immediately adjoining the Church, & on part of the Site of which, the present church stands. In a couple of niches, in a wall at the west end of the church, are the effigies of two persons of considerable note; one a Bishop dressed in his canonicals, & cut in stone, the full size of the human figure. The other, is the effigy of Maurice Fitzgerald, dressed in armour, with the following inscription surrounding it “Maurice Fitzgerald de Lackngche Militis quondam sui martiri qui obit XX Decembris A Domine 1575.” It seems he was of the Leinster family & reputed King of this country.
at the back of the Cathedral, in the Cemetry, stand the remains of an old House, which tradition says belonged to a woman of the name of Bridget, who was living at the time the Danes invaded Ireland, & who had the address to procure from them large domains, particularly the Curragh above mentioned, and which from that time has ever been a free common by virtue of a Gift from her. This Cathedral was likewise richly endowed by her, & from her it took its name. the house itself was called Kildare, & gave name to the Town. Immediately behind the house, is a round watch Tower, in a perfect state, about 40 yards in height, & in circumference at the base, about 15 yards. It is built of white granite to the height of about 12 feet from the ground, & the rest of common blue stone. The door is 14 or 15 feet from the bottom. – The remains of the Cathedral challenge the attention of every beholder, as being the most beautiful piece of ruins, this, or perhaps, any other country, can exhibit. [p. 100-101]