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Ferns Cathedral


Ferns Cathedral

This article is about the Church of Ireland cathedral. For the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns, see St. Aidan's Cathedral.
Ferns Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of St. Edan, Ferns

52°35′33″N 6°29′52″W / 52.59250°N 6.49778°W / 52.59250; -6.49778Coordinates: 52°35′33″N 6°29′52″W / 52.59250°N 6.49778°W / 52.59250; -6.49778

Location Ferns, County Wexford
Country Ireland
Denomination Church of Ireland
Website Dedication St. Edan (Máedóc of Ferns)
Diocese Diocese of Cashel and Ossory
Province Province of Dublin
Dean The Very Rev'd. Dr Paul Mooney
Chaplain(s) The Rev'd M Sykes
Organist(s) S Milne

The Cathedral Church of St Edan is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Ferns, County Wexford in Ireland. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Dublin.

Previously the cathedral of the Diocese of Ferns, it is now one of six cathedrals in the United Dioceses of Cashel and Ossory.


The original medieval cathedral was built by Bishop St. John in the 1230s. Following the Irish Reformation, a new body was established by decree of the Irish Parliament to became the State Church in the Kingdom of Ireland. The Church of Ireland assumed possession of most Church property. The substantial majority of the population remained faithful to Roman Catholicism. A Catholic cathedral, also dedicated to Saint Aidan, was erected in Enniscorthy in the nineteenth century to a design by Pugin.

The building was burnt down in Elizabethan times and only a small portion of the ruins remain. Although Queen Elizabeth I of England ordered it rebuilt, only a section of the quire was restored. This was subsequently further altered in the early 1800s.[1] Of the surviving medieval fabric the blind arcading of the chancel is of particular note as are the north and south lancets and viscae of the East Wall. The central lancets are a conjectural restoration. There is a very fine medieval episcopal effigy by the font and the remains of some pillars of the quire arcade are to be seen in the walls to the west of the new chancel arch. The eighteenth or early nineteenth century west tower may well be on the site of a crossing of the mediaeval cathedral. An earlier belief that the present cathedral was part of the nave of the older building was based on the existence of remains of a separate medieval church, on the same axis, some way to the east. The chancel arcade and Eastern lancets challenge this conjecture as does the marked difference of floor level which, in the Eastern fragment, is some metres lower.

Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (of the first creation), Lord of Leinster, Justiciar of Ireland (1130 – 20 April 1176), also commonly known as Strongbow (French: Arc-Fort), is interred at Ferns Cathedral.


The cathedral was vandalised in early 2009 by youths. Many panes of glass were broken in the cathedral and the pane of glass protecting the magnificent east window was cracked. Headstones in the adjacent St Peter's Cemetery were knocked over.[2]


See also

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