The Chapel Royal, Dublin

4.5
The Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle was the official Church of Ireland chapel of the Household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1814 until the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. The creation of the new Irish state terminated the office of Lord Lieutenant and British government control in Ireland.
Designed by Francis Johnston (1760–1829), the foremost architect working in Ireland in the early 19th century, and architect to the Board of Works, the chapel contains one of the finest Gothic revival interiors in Ireland. Replacing an earlier undistinguished 18th century church that suffered structural problems through being built on soft ground close to the site of the original castle moat, the new Chapel Royal was built using a timber frame to make it as light as possible. Indeed, so difficult was the nature of the site that the chapel took seven years to build, though a contributory factor in both time and budget was the "sheer opulence" of its interior.
The foundation stone was laid by the Lord-Lieutenant, John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, on 15 February 1807. It was completed behind schedule (the budget also substantially overran) and opened on Christmas Day, 1814, when Charles Whitworth, 1st Earl Whitworth was Lord-Lieutenant. Lord Whitworth contributed the centre portion of the large stained-glass window above the altar, which he had purchased while in Paris, and which reputedly had come from Russia (he had been plenipotentiary in St. Petersburg in the 1790s). The surroundings are painted glass, executed by a Mr. Bradley in Dublin. At the apex of the window are the arms of Lord Whitworth.
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The Chapel Royal Reviews
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4.3
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  • We saw the Chapel Royal as a part of the Dublin Castle tour and loved it. The beauty in the in Chapel was amazing. What I thought was particularly cool was the stone work was actually woodwork to ligh...  more »
  • Having one of my ancestors on the portal of this Royal Chapel it is with emotion that I discovered it solo visit impossible to buy guided tour at 10 euros to visit everything
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  • Calm and beautiful place. Take the walking tours there. Lots of history. There are good bars around too!
  • If you go to Dublin Castle, do not skip the Chapel Royal -- it's a spectacular Gothic revival church designed by Francis Johnston (General Post Office) and opened in 1814. While on the small size, the sheer opulence of the architecture is stunning and has lovely elements such as upper level galleries and stained glass windows which are ornamented with coats of arms representing many of Ireland’s Viceroys. As an American, I found the carving of "Cornwallis" particularly interesting as he was the British general who surrendered at Yorktown during the War of American Independence. His portrait is also hanging in Dublin Castle. The exterior features over 90 carved heads, including Brian Boru, St. Patrick, and Jonathan Swift.
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