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St Laserian Cathedral, Old Leighlin, Carlow

(52°43′56″N, 7°1′25″W)
Old Leighlin
S 66 65
pre-1974 traditional (Republic of Ireland) Carlow
now Carlow
medieval Leighlin
now Leighlin
  • Tessa Garton
12 Apr 1994

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Feature Sets

St Laserian is one of Ireland’s smallest cathedrals. It comprises a 12thc. nave and chancel, a late 15thc. central tower and a 16thc. N chapel to the chancel. The chancel was rebuilt in the 16thc. A plain 11thc. font is located in the chancel, under the E arch of the tower on the N side.


A monastery existed on this site from the early 7thc, founded by St Gobban. A Synod was held here in 630 which decided in favour of the Roman system for calculating the date for the celebration of Easter. The original monastic buildings were destroyed by fire c.1060. The present church was begun by Bishop Donatus (1152-81).





The font appears to be of earlier date than the 12thc. cathedral.


J. Pike, Medieval Fonts of Ireland, Greystones, 1979, 26.