Christchurch Cathedral

Christchurch Cathedral is located in the heart of what was once medieval Dublin, originally the center of Danish controlled Ireland. The cathedral precincts as they exist today were established by the Danes, but they were built over the top of a native Irish monastery that the Danes raided one too many times before taking over the area completely. The cathedral was begun around 1028 at the behest of Sitric Silkbeard, the King of Dublin, and has been rebuilt over the centuries. After the Norman conquest of Ireland, King Henry II celebrated Christmas here in 1171. The leader of that first Norman expedition to Ireland in 1169, Richard de Clare, known otherwise as Strongbow, is buried in the church’s nave. The crypt below the cathedral dates to the 12th century and contains many relics from the medieval period. In my books, Read more…

Welsh Christianity

In one of this season’s earlier videos, we talked about ‘early’ Welsh Christianity and religion. Today we are talking about what was different about Christianity in Wales in later eras. Christianity in the first centuries AD was in still to some degree competing with paganism, particularly following the fall of Rome. While Rome had officially become Christian in 388, not only was Britain located at the end of the Roman Empire at that time, Rome completely abandoned it by 410. That meant that the Christianity that developed in Wales was organized around small cells of believers, led by inspired leaders who came to be known as saints. That’s why the period was called ‘the age of Saints’, where men and women formed monasteries and convents, but with little to none of the hierarchy and oversight that came later. By 800 Read more…