St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower

The Cathedral Church of St Canice,
The Close, Coach Rd,
Kilkenny City, Ireland.

Phone : +353 (0)56 7764971

Mobile number: +353 (0)85 2527787

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The Roof and The Bells

The Roof

hammerbeam_roof__in_the_cathedral.jpgThe roofs were all replaced in the mid 19th century by Dean Vignoles. The hammerbeam bosses were carved in 1865. The fir roofing was not weatherproof and the draughts within were consequently severe at all times – terrible in cold and windy weather. When snow fell, it was blown right in, and fell in a gentle shower on the congregation. Even a Victorian congregation would not endure this, so it all had to be re-roofed in 1879. At the top round window at the West end, the wall thickness is reduced (it is the same for the transepts and the East end too). The original ceiling would have been below this, so the window would not have been visible from inside, merely giving light to the roof space.

The Bells
The 2013 Cherry Cup Ringers from the Cathedral who came second on 7th April. David Reid, Ian McCullagh, Richie Ryan, Barry O'Connor, Elmer Dool, David Ryan, Valerie O'Coonnor, Richard Sherwood,

Tbellscath.jpghe bells are rung every Sunday, on feast days and for weddings and funerals. On New Year's Eve the bells are muffled to ring out the old year and before midnight, the muffles are removed to ring in the New Year with a clear peal.

The first time that bells are mentioned in any Cathedral records was following the collapse of the tower in 1332. In 1674 a new set of six bells were cast and cost £324 4s 2d and included such costs as "spent going to Callan to get ye cract metal for ye use of ye bells" and "spent twice going to Durrow for timber for ye frame of ye bells".


The present treble and number two bells were added to the ring in 1892 cast by the Byrne Foundry in Dublin. On their return they were photographed (right) and all the bells were tuned and re-hung. They are hung in a heavy oak timber frame for "full-circle" ringing or they can be chimed by one person using the Ellacombe hammers. The tenor bell weighs 22cwt. (1200kgs) approximately and the ring is tuned to the key of E flat.

To find out more information on The Roof and The Bells, contact St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower