Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, restored by G. E. Street

Christ Church Cathedral from the road.

Christ Church Cathedral's history goes back to the Vikings, and, having been founded in 1028, is proud of its almost 1000-year-long history. But, as it own website also acknowledges, "The cathedral as it exists today is heavily Victorianised due to the extensive restorations and renovations carried out by the architect George Edmund Street (between 1871 and 1878)." The extremely costly work was done at the expense of a very wealthy donor, Dublin whiskey distiller, Henry Roe. With this kind of funding (£230,000 at that time, an enormous sum today), Street was not only able to "save the cathedral," as it says on the Cathedral website, but employ the very best of materials and craftsmen. The Cathedral is located at Christchurch Place, Wood Quay, Dublin.

Left: An older photograph showing the entrance from the road. Right: The tower and spire rising above the varied roofline.

Street himself saw his task here as "almost tantamount" to building the cathedral again (200), and reckoned that "the restoration — or reconstruction, I might almost say — of the choir of Christ Church" was "one of the greatest and most successful ecclesiastical works" that he ever undertook (80). He was not alone in thinking he had risen to the challenge. Noting that the work was now nearing completion, the British Architect of 22 February 1878 called it "one of our best specimens of architecture in Ireland" ("Notes from Ireland," 85).

The cathedral from the grounds, with thanks to © Flickr user: Colin.

Inside, much of the finest workmanship went into the choir: "Street was no doubt anxious that the rebuilt choir should be rich enough to provide an appropriate climax to the vista up the church" (Stalley 198).

Related Material

First photograph and the one on the right below by Jacqueline Banerjee, who also added the captions and text. Photograph on the left beside it, by George P. Landow. You may use these images 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 in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Last photograph by "User: Colin" on Flickr, kindly released on the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) licence. [Click on all the images to enlarge them.]


"a href="" target="_blank">"The History of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin." Christ Church Cathedral. Web. 14 September 2020.

"Notes from Ireland." British Architect . Vol. 9 (22 February 1878): 85. Google Books (limited view). Web. 14 September 2020.

Stalley, Roger, ed. George Edmund Street and the Restoration of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000.

Street, Arthur Edmund. Memoir of George Edmund Street RA, 1824-1881. London: John Murray, 1888. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Getty Research Institute. Web. 14 September 2020.

Created 13 August 2020