Christ Church Cathedral, founded in 1028, contains the largest Cathedral crypt in Britain or Ireland, constructed in 1172-1173. Having been renovated in the early 2000s, it is now open for visitors.

The Camino Society’s photographer, Nelson, spent some time in the crypt and took some excellent photographs of the various monuments and historical features that it holds.

The Cathedral’s crypt houses priceless silver, the famous ‘cat and the rat’, and Ireland’s first copy of the Magna Carta.

A mummified cat & rat are the most unusual inhabitants of the crypt, but also the most popular. Mentioned by James Joyce in Finnegans Wake, they are known locally as ‘Tom & Jerry’.

The crypt also exhibits the original 16th-century costumes from the series ‘The Tudors’. The gowns feature decorative beading, embroidery, crochet and hand painting. They are well worth a visit.

Royal sculpture in the Crypt in the Christ Church Cathedral
One of the many hallways of Christ Church Cathedral’s crypt

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It is Christ Church Cathedral’s two unexpected residents who catch most visitors attention. A cat and a rat were discovered in an organ pipe in the 1850s, and their mummified bodies are now on display. Eternally trapped in chase, the duo is affectionately named Tom and Jerry and even got a mention in James Joyce’s novel Finnegan’s Wake.
Many scenes from the TV series ‘The Tudors’ were cast in the Cathedral. The costumes are on exhibition in the crypt and are a must see.

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2015 marked the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta (‘The Great Charter’), one of the most famous documents in world history. Magna Carta is credited with being the first effective check in writing on arbitrary, oppressive and unjust rule — in a word, on tyranny. It can be viewed in the crypt.

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More information can be found below:
Camino Society Ireland’s Instagram – why not follow our instagram account. Nelson is the account curator. Use #caminosocietyireland for a chance to be featured.