St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin

Discover Dublin's Medieval Gem on a private guided tour

St Patricks Cathedral Dublin

Discover the beauty of St Patrick's Cathedral, a medieval gem, on a private guided tour. Dublin has the rare distinction of having two Cathedrals; St. Patricks Cathedral and Christchurch Cathedral. Christchurch is the older of the two, founded in 1038, some 150 years before St Patrick's (1190). 

St. Patricks Cathedral is Ireland's largest church at 300 ft long and with a spire rising to 223 ft (68m). It features a beautiful interior and some fascinating tombs, among them Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels.

Learn the story of Ireland’s patron saint, enjoy the architecture and take part in a service. Allow at least three night in Dublin when planning your Private Tour of Ireland; there is so much to see.

Ireland's Largest Cathedral

A brief history of St Patricks Cathedral

St Patrick's well
St Patricks Cathedral replaced an earlier wooden church built over a well said to have been used by St Patrick. The Cathedral dates from 1220 – 1259 and built using local limestone and stone imported from Bristol. Its design followed that of Old Sarum Cathedral near Salisbury.

Medieval construction
Over the next 700 years, the building evolved, including the Lady Chapel addition in 1270. The Cathedral was to endure turbulent times. A storm felled the spire in 1316, and it sustained substantial fire damage in 1362. Further misfortune followed. Repairs in 1370 to the nave and tower collapsed 24 years later, destroying most of the west end of the Cathedral in the process. The rebuilding that followed that event remains today. 

The Reformation
Following the English Reformation (1541-98), St Patricks became an Anglican Cathedral with many statues and rich decorations stripped out. Neglect followed; During the reign of King Edward VI, the Cathedral was demoted to the status of a parish church and used as a courthouse and a university. Under the Catholic Queen Mary in 1555, Cathedral status was thus restored, and repairs began. Five years later, the Cathedral proudly featured one of the first public clocks in Dublin.

By the start of the 19th century, the Cathedral was again in dire need of repairs, with large parts of the building deemed unsafe to use. The situation was saved by Benjamin Guinness, a wealthy brewer who offered to fund the work. His only stipulation was that his work was not to be interfered with by the Cathedral board. (He'd had a bad experience with committees before). Thus much of what we see today is Victorian.

The long-festering rivalry issue of status is now resolved with Christchurch confirmed as the Cathedral of Dublin and St Patricks the Cathedral of all Ireland. 

Dublin's highlights

It's important to plan your time carefully with so much to see, and our Travel Designers and guides are on hand to help you.

Trinity College and the Book of Kells
The College was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I 'to civilise Ireland with both learning and the Protestant religion and reform these rude people's barbarism.' - the extremely well educated Queen Elizabeth, although tact was perhaps something of a weakness. Today, in more enlightened times, Trinity welcomes all religions and genders. The Book of Kells at Trinity College described as the most beautiful book in the world. The 680 pages of Latin script and painting are fantastic with the monks who copied out and illustrated the four Gospels at the Monastery of Kells clearly very highly skilled. 

The National Museum or Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is another 'must-see' location. Displays of Ireland's fascinating past include treasured artefacts from prehistoric times, the Viking era, Christian crosses, the Broighter Hoard, the Treasury's biggest collection of gold objects, and much more besides.

Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle is one of the most important buildings in Irish history. During your visit to the Castle, you will be walking in the footsteps of some of the world's great and good including Benjamin franklin (1771), four state visits by Queen Victoria (between 1849 – 1900), John F Kennedy (1963), and Queen Elizabeth II (2011)to name but a few.

Christchurch Cathedral
Christchurch Cathedral, founded in 1038, stands out among the buildings on the south bank of the Liffey and is a fine example of Gothic architecture. In a glass case, an unusual exhibit is a cat and mouse around 120 years old. The cat was chasing the mouse through the organ's pipes, where both became stuck with the mouse just inches from the cat's paws. 

Kilmainham Gaol
A tour of Kilmainham Gaol is an experience not to be missed. Opened in 1796, it is a national monument. This cold place with its dark corridors and four tiny cold cells was thought to be a model prison. Those held here included sheep stealers, debtors, murders, and prostitutes. Famine victims also ended up here having committed petty crimes to be given regular meals of thin prison gruel. It's an experience that sets you thinking and sheds light on the historical conditions and times that Ireland endured. 

Touring and accommodation
Our Tour Designers will suggest a private guided tour of Dublin based on your interests and preferred pace of travel and time available. We have tour guides with specialist knowledge and those with the personality to work well with families – be enlightened and entertained on a private guided tour of Ireland

Dublin is blessed with a fair number of beautiful hotels with friendly, welcoming staff. The Westbury Dublin is probably in the most desirable location in the centre of all the action and short stroll to all attractions. The Westin Dublin Hotel is also central and close to the River Liffey. Enjoy the elegance of the stunning Merrion Hotel in the historic Georgian quarter of the city. The Shelbourne Hotel is another favourite for International visitors and should be considered.

The Cathedral of ALL Ireland

The largest Cathedral in Ireland

  • Private Tours Available
  • A Medieval Architectural Gem
  • Learn the Story of St Patrick
  • Include as Part of a Guided Tour of Dublin

Help us make your trip exceptional

Our UK, US and EU office based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

Contact information

From the UK: +44(0)20 8669 3666

FREE from Canada or the USA: 1-888-472-1799

Email: [email protected]

Traveller Information

Tour Builder

Optional Information
By getting to know you and your preferences better, we are able to tailor your trip to your liking and be spot on!
Add an Interest
£ = GBP Great British Pound Sterling
Add an Interest