Plaque bearing William Burges's name, St. Fin Barre's Cathedral (variously spelt). Building designed by Burges 1862-63; consecrated 1870; fully completed 1879. Cork, Republic of Ireland. Photograph and text 2006 by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Amid the "single iconographic scheme" of the stained glass windows (Williams 6), which progresses from the Old Testament at the west end to the New Testament in the ambulatory, is one erected by Alfred Burges to the memory of his eldest son, "Architect of this cathedral." Designed by Burges himself, it shows the King of Heaven presiding over the four apostles, who hold open the Word of God. As elsewhere in the cathedral, Matthew is shown in human form, while Mark is shown as a lion, Luke as an ox and John as an eagle. Below them flame the seven candles of Revelations 1:20, representing the seven churches of Asia Minor. Under the inscription is a simple shield and a small, worn-looking plaque with a mosaic surround, bearing Burges's entwined initials and name.

However, everything here, including the church fittings, furnishings, mosaics, ironwork and stained glass, shows Burges's distinctive hand, making the whole cathedral a memorial to him and to his own distinctive style of "Burgesian Gothic."

Other Views and Related Material


Crook, J. Mordaunt. "Burges, Wiliam (1827-1881)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Viewed 23 August 2009.

"St Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork" (welcome leaflet available in the cathedral).

"The Present Cathedral" (Cathedral website). Viewed 23 August 2009.

Turnor, Reginald. Nineteenth Century Architecture in Britain. London: Batsford, 1950.

Williams, Matthew. William Burges, 1827-81. Andover, Hants: Jarrold Publishing (Pitkin Guide), 2007.

Victorian Web Homepage Visual Arts Architecture William Burges

Last modified 30 August 2009