The cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Dublin, commonly called Christ Church, is by Irish standards rich in archival and architectural remains, and so it comes as something of a surprise to learn that this is the first full-scale history of the cathedral to be written.
That the time has now come for the situation to be redressed owes much to the attention that has been paid in recent years to the records and architecture of Christ Church. The painstaking work of scholars from the different academic disciplines of history, music, literature and art, have distilled from the evidence much that had previously been hidden.
To quote from the Introduction, Christ Church has reflected in its architecture, administration and worship, and in the people who made those things possible, the changing face of Ireland. It has experienced the trauma of the Reformation, and, centuries later, of disestablishment and of political independence.
Whether pre-Reformation as an Augustinian priory, or post Reformation, as the monarch's Chapel Royal in Ireland, 'where the government came to church', or indeed from the late nineteenth century as metropolitan cathedral for the Church of Ireland dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough, Christ Church has played a prominent part in national and civic life. Furthermore, the cathedral archives throw intriguing light, not only on matters of importance to church and state, but also on many aspects of everyday life in Dublin.