“The Cathedral is widely recognised locally,
nationally and internationally for its active promotion of ecumenical
in which the building is held as a religious venue
which is acceptable to all sections of the community.”
It was in the year 1613 that James I formed, by Royal Charter, the new County of Londonderry and that The Honourable The Irish Society was established to build the City. Paramount in their plans was the erection of the Cathedral and they immediately sent over from London a silver-
Construction work began in 1628 and the stone which records completion is to be seen in the porch of the Cathedral:
"lf stones could speake
Then London’s prayse
Should sounde who
Built tbis Church and
Cittie from the grounde".
The Cathedral was built of stone from local quarries and skilled stone cutters and masons had to be procured. The old pillars and arches bear testimony to sound judgement and first-
St Columb's is the first Cathedral in the British 'Isles to have been built after the Reformation and is a fine example of 'Planter's Gothic'. There was practically no change in the appearance of the building from 1633 to 1776 when the Bishop of Derry (the 4th Earl of Bristol) added 21 feet to the tower, and placed above this a very tall and graceful stone spire, making a total height of 221 feet, but about 20 years afterwards, his addition to the tower showed signs of giving way and the whole was taken down and rebuilt, the tower being completed in 1802 and the spire being added about 20 years later.
The nave however remained exactly as it was until 1825 when the South Porch was removed. In 1827 the eastern turrets were either rebuilt or else surmounted by domes; before this they appear with battlements.
In 1861/2 the interior of the Cathedral was entirely re-
The addition of the chancel in 1887 completed the Cathedral on the plan of its founders -
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