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St Audeon's Church

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St Audeon's Church is the last surviving medieval church in Dublin. Though the church dates from the 13 th century it is devoted to St. Ouen, a French bishop from the 7th century. This may be due to the influenceof Norman French archbishops who were responsible for building and running the church.

Ireland is known worldwide as the land of saints and scholars, so it is no surprise that there should be a large selection of historically significant and beautiful churches in the capital city. The beauty of St Audeon's is in the subtle details. Few would initially find this church remarkable, but it is the culmination of small, intricate and beautiful details that sets this church apart from the raft of other intriguing and beautiful Dublin churches.

It is located near the only surviving gate of medieval Dublin (dating from 1214) and though the church is semi ruined, large areas have survived the test of time including the 13 th century nave and the west door, dating from 1190. It's presently a Church of Ireland property, but nearby is another St. Audeon's Church, this one Catholic and dating from 1846, famous for the priest who reputedly said the fastest mass, so that his congregation was out in time for the football matches.

The ruins have been excavated and to access them you need to enter via the Visitor Centre. The north aisle of the church is still a functioning Protestant church, so do be aware of this as you approach and enter the building.

St. Audeon's is a rectangular shaped building with two long parallel aisles. A doorway in the south wall , constructed at some point in the 18th century opens into the south aisle, now known as St. Anne's Chapel . At the western side of St. Anne's chapel, originally an archway provided access to the western tower of St. Anne's. Half a dozen bells currently hang in the bell loft, some were originally cast as early as the 15 th century, most likely for the then newly built tower.

During the 17 th and the 19 th centuries the tower was twice restored. The roofless eastern side of the church is a mid 15 th century expansion. The Portlester Chapel was also a later extension; a private chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary founded Sir Roland FitzEustance, also known as Lord Portlester. Lord Portlester had a cenotaph built to commemorate his wife Margaret and himself, their reclining effigies carved in. This tomb would have been a centre piece in this chapel.

The present church is located in the north aisle; this is the only roofed section of the building. There is a beautiful 12 th century Romanesque style doorway to the nave, this is the oldest architectural feature in St. Audeon's.

The church is located at Cornmarket (near High Street and Christchurch Cathedral), Dublin 8. It's approximately a 15 minute walk from Trinity College up Dame Street. Thirty minute guided tours are available although you can wander around at leisure if you prefer.

Entrance is free and opening times are:
28th April - 26th October: Daily 9.30am - 17.30pm
Last admissions 16.45pm
 

 

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