Tourist Information Dublin

St Audoen's Church, Dublin

St. Audoen's Church is the church of the parish of St. Audoen in the Church of Ireland and is located close to what was the centre of the medieval city.

St. Audoen's is the oldest parish church in Dublin and still used as such.

The church is named after St. Ouen of Normandy, a saint who lived in the seventh century and was dedicated to him by the Anglo-Normans, who arrived in Dublin after 1172. The church was erected in 1190.

The turbulent events of the 16th century had its effects on the upkeep of the church and in 1630 the church was declared to be in a decrepit state. The Archbishop, Lancelot Bulkeley, complained that "there is a guild there called St. Anne's Guild that hath swallowed up all the church means".

Strenuous efforts were made over the next few years to repair the roof, steeple and pillars of the building, and the guild was ordered to contribute its share. Funds were low. In 1673 an order was made to remove the tombs and tombstones from the church "to preserve the living from being injured by the dead".

Although many repairs were carried out to the church and tower over the centuries, finance for the maintenance of the structures was always a problem, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. By 1825, the church building itself was in a ruinous state and few Protestants remained in the parish to support it. As a result, parts of the church were closed off or unroofed. As a consequence many ancient tombs gradually crumbled and memorials were removed or rendered illegible by exposure to the weather.

The architect Thomas Drew was the first to draw serious attention to the importance of the church, architecturally and historically, in 1866. He produced detailed plans of the church for which he won an award from the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, carried out excavations and drew up a paper on the church and its history. In a booklet published in 1873 the rector Alexander Leeper urged reroofing and restoration of the church.

In the 1980s an extensive restoration of the tower and bells was carried out. In subsequent years St. Anne's chapel, which had lost its roof and many monuments, was given a new roof and converted to a visitor reception centre, including an exhibition on the history of the church.

During conservation works starting in 1996 an extensive excavation of a small section of the church was carried out, which contributed greatly to an understanding of the building history of the church.

Opening Times

29April - 27th October:
Daily - 9.30am - 17.30pm
Last admissions 16.45pm

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Ticket Prices

Free

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Disabled Facilities

Partial access for visitors with disabilities

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More Information

Telephone: 00 353 (0) 1 6770088
Email: staudoenschurch@opw.ie

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Location Map

Find out how to get to St Audoen's Church with directions and maps from Google.
Corn Market,
Dublin 8,
Dublin

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