Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Christ Church Cathedral has the double honour of being both the oldest building in Dublin and having the world record for largest number of bells that are rung full circle.  This record is the most recent in a number of developments that the ringers of Christ Church have taken part in over the last thousand years.  Every century has seen an improvement to either the tower or the bells within it.

The cathedral was originally founded in 1038 by the Norse King of Dublin, Siric Silkenbeard and Donat, the first Bishop of Dublin.  This would have been a wooden building, though it is recorded to have had at least one ringing bell since that time.

The cathedral was originally founded in 1038 by the Norse King of Dublin, Siric Silkenbeard and Donat, the first Bishop of Dublin.  This would have been a wooden building, though it is recorded to have had at least one ringing bell since that time.

The first stone building was build in the 1170s by the Norman knight Strongbow (who was responsible for bringing Ireland under Norman control) and the Archbishop, St Laurence O'Tool, though neither of them lived long enough to see it completed.

By 1440 there were known to be three great bells in the tower, however in 1603 an accidental explosion of gunpowder in one of the quays cracked the bells and damaged the tower. The effects of this blast also damaged the tower nearby of St. Audeon's church.

In 1670, six new bells were cast for the tower from cannon metal. These were augmented to eight in 1738 and then to twelve in 1878.

The most recent augmentation was in 1999 when an additional seven bells were added to the ring.  Although this does not produce a diatonic scale on 19 bells, it does uniquely provide a choice of combinations: three different 12-bell peals as well as 14 and 16 bell peals.  At the time of the augmentation, this was only the second 16 bell peal in the world - St Martin's church in Birmingham being the first.

The Ringers of Christ Church are also keen mini-bell ringers, after a portable octave was cast for the ringing master in 1998.

Practice Night: Friday 19.00 - 21.00 to gain access after 19.00, please phone 087 1203456

Service Ring: Sunday 10.00 - 11.00 and 14.30 - 15.30

Tower Contact:  Gail McEndoo
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