No visit to Ardmore is complete without a visit to the ruins of Ardmore Cathedral.
Located just a short stroll from the Main Street in the heart of Ardmore Village, the site was formally recognised as a Cathedral in 1170.
It underwent several phases of construction over the centuries and the present building showcases various periods and styles.
The chancel is the oldest part of the cathedral and dates from the 9th Century.
The nave is from late 12th Century work.
And, this feature which perhaps will capture a visitor’s attention the most. The arcading of the nave is indeed an extraordinary feature of this ruin. Arcading, is in fact a common characteristic of Romanesque churches on the continent but is comparatively rare in Irish churches of the same date.
Further works on the south side-wall and the east gable were completed of the 14th century.
The arch, of late 12th or early 13th century character, is well deserving of more closer inspection. Remarkably high bases (56 inches) from which the columns spring, and the lightness of the arch above, lend to the whole feel of this wonderful space.
Standing within the choir the visitor will not fail to notice the two ogham inscribed pillar stones in the north-west and south – west angles respectively. One of them was discovered built into eastern gable of the little oratory known as Relig Deglain. A third ogham stone, now in the National Museum, was found built into the nave wall of the cathedral.
The most unusual feature is the arcade – a series of sculptures on the outside of west wall telling stories from the bible.
Although many of the upper panels are worn – you can just make out the Archangel Michael weighing souls.
Included in the lower panels are Adam and Eve, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Judgment of Solomon.
Learn more about Ardmore Cathedral