There are a number of worthy books dealing specifically with church architecture in
Ireland, of which The cathedrals of Ireland by Peter Galloway and The churches and abbeys
of Ireland by Brian de Breffny and George Mott are among the best. There are also
those which deal with a particular church, such as A history of Christ Church Cathedral,
edited by Kenneth Milne. However, there is no single volume telling the story of the
churches and cathedrals of the Church of Ireland and the aim of this book is to fill that
In 2000 there were approximately 1100 churches still open for worship (650 in the
Republic and 450 in Northern Ireland). These range from the medieval cathedrals and
ancient parish churches in the care of the Church of Ireland since the Reformation to
the medley of new churches built in eastern Ulster during the second half of the
twentieth century. Except for the medieval period it is not possible to include them all,
and many beautiful, well-loved and well-cared-for churches have had to be omitted.
Only a brief description of those chosen is possible, and as a result the large cathedrals
receive more or less the same space as an interesting but little-known country church.
The former are, in any event, already well documented.