A 13thc. cathedral built on the site of an earlier church which was burned in 1085 and in 1114. It contains a font and some loose sculpture from the Romanesque church, and some Romanesque stones reused in the walls of the 13thc. church. A round tower is located to the south of the cathedral.
The present cathedral stands on the site of the original monastic settlement founded by St Canice in the 6thc. The street pattern around the cathedral suggests the original presence of a large, circular enclosure around the monastery (Bradley,1990, 65), but the number and form of church buildings is not known.
N chapel of N transept. Reused as a voussoir over the S window of the E facade. A fragment with round bosses on a chamfered edge (similar to Loose Sculpture fragments (v) and (vi)).
S facade of S transept. Reused in the lowest course is a piece of red sandstone (different from the surrounding stone) which appears to be the base of a double shaft with a central fillet. The 1860 account describes this as 'the capital of a pillar', 'turned upside down', and 'representing a bearded face'. (the bearded face is not evident , but the central fillet may have been a mask of some kind).
Located in the Gash Chapel. Brought from Inchiologhan (Inchiholohan) (Co. Kilkenny). The basin is in the form of a cushion capital with a roll moulding bordering the shields. One shield is carved in shallow relief with an asymmetrical leaf pattern. The cone is decorated with three small upright leaves in the centre and lilies at the corners. The sides and rear are not decorated. Some of the leaves on the shield and those on the cone below contain stamen-like upright stems with round tips.
|Basin d.||0.55 m|
|Basin h.||0.40 m|
|Basin w.||0.52 m|
|Pedestal h.||0.31 m|
|Pedestal w.||0.24 m|
|Pedestal w.||0.24 m|
A damaged stone on the sill of the E window of the N aisle appears to have traces of decoration, possibly chevron, but is hard to decipher. This stone was missing in 2002.
Multi-scallop capital with a frieze of knotted interlace in the shield area above the scallops. The fragment was designed for a jamb with an attached nook >shaft and incorporates a necking with a curved section at the left for the nook shaft. It is decorated on the longer face and broken on the short face corresponding to the nook shaft.
Section of jamb with an attached nook shaft flanked by a decorative band bordered by wedges and containing a foliage scroll with alternating half-palmettes. Four half-palmettes curl back against the stem in the same direction, while the fifth, at one end, curls back towards the others.
The fragment is irregular in shape and partly broken. It is decorated on two angled faces with foliage ornament.
Similar to (v).
Similar to (iv) but with round bosses along the chamfer.
Decorated on the face with part of an Irish-Urnes style interlaced beast which evidently continued onto the adjacent voussoirs. The beast head, in profile facing right, with open jaws and foliate lappet or ear, is placed centrally above interlacing body sections caught in the coils of neck and tail. The broader bands (body sections?) are decorated with a ribbon-like design. The upper moulding of the voussoir is damaged.
P. Harbison, 'Carved Stones from the 12th century Predecessor of St Canice's Cathedral', Old Kilkenny Review, 5/1, 1974, 26-9.
H. K. J. Pike, Medieval Fonts of Ireland, Greystones, 1989, 13.
J. Graves and J. Prim, The History, Architecture and Antiquities of the Cathedral Church of St. Canice, Kilkenny, Dublin,1857, 25-6.