Christ Church Cathedral Church




N 52° 15' 35.52"   W 007° 06' 28.26"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

S 60893 12394

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Thursday 7 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The south panel of James Rice's tomb depicts the Saints Matthias, Jude, Simon, Matthew, Batholomew and Philip.

Christ Church Cathedral was first built in the 11th century.
The site was chosen in 1170 for the marriage of Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (also known as Strongbow) and Aoife Ní Diarmait. This first building was replaced in 1210 by a Gothic Cathedral.
The present building was erected at the end of the 18th century and is described as one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings in Ireland.

One of the most fascinating things to see in the Cathedral is the cadaver tomb of James Rice, a successful merchant and mayor of Waterford for eleven times.
He was extremely religious and went on pilgrimage to Spain twice, he bestowed most of his property to the Church.
The same tomb is the resting place of his wife Catherine Broun.

His tomb was prepared in 1482 and was housed in a chapel annexed to the medieval cathedral, prior to James Rice's pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. It is one of the finest cadaver tombs in Ireland. It shows James's body in decomposition, with ribs exposed and critters eating his flesh. Unlike other cadaver tombs that I had seen in the past, this one doesn't show any inner organ.
A shroud, knotted at the top, is laid under his body and folded on his left leg.
His right arm is missing below his elbow down.
Cadaver tombs had the aim of reminding other people about the fact that nobody escapes death.

Another nice item in the Cathedral is the Warrior's Tomb. The lid of the tomb represents a man in full armour and a dog resting at his feet. According to some historians he might have been a Butler, since his tomb reminds of other Butler tombs that can be seen in Kilkenny and other churches in the Diocese of Ossory.

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