Heritage Week walking tour and lectures on C of I disestablishment

As part of the Church of Ireland’s programme to mark the 150th anniversary of its Disestablishment, a walking tour and a series of lunchtime lectures will take place in Dublin during Heritage Week in August.


The walking tour will take place on Tuesday August 20 and Thursday August 22 from 3pm to 4.30pm. Participants will meet at the labyrinth in the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral.

The tour will be led by Dr Michael O’Neill FSA (architectural historian) who will discuss the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland 150 years ago and look at the Cathedrals of Christ Church and St Patrick’s and adjacent parish churches and how they reflect this event.

While Disestablishment was primarily a political, social, and indeed religious event – a former established (state) Church being made a voluntary one – buildings can help flesh out this story. Cathedrals in particular were restored or rebuilt first as a bulwark against Disestablishment – St Patrick’s in Dublin was extensively restored and St Fin Barre’s in Cork was entirely rebuilt. Christ Church Cathedral was restored after Disestablishment as an encouragement to the newly voluntary church.

The tour will be free of charge but places are limited and booking is required. Please contact Caoimhe Leppard at [caoimhe.leppard@rcbdub.org ]or on 00 353 (0)1 4125 608.


The lunchtime lecture series will run at the Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin, during Heritage Week this August.

The lectures will take place at 1pm on each of the following days:

Tuesday 20th August Prof Alan Ford, Professor Emeritus at University of Nottingham : What kind of a Church is the Church of Ireland?

Wednesday 21st August Dr Michael O’Neill FSA Architecture and Ecclesiology: The evidence from the Church of Ireland drawing collections

Thursday 22nd August The Rt Revd Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory : Liturgical space and the re–ordering of Church of Ireland churches

Friday 23rd August Dr Niamh NicGhabhann, University of Limerick : Church of Ireland restorations and representations in 19th–century Ireland

The IAA is currently hosting A Visual Window to an Ecclesiastical World – an exhibition of the Church of Ireland’s historical architectural drawings – which will be open Tuesday–Friday until 30th August. Admission is free.