New Technology Brings Ancient History Alive in St Patrick"s Cathedral

Visitors to the cathedral will now be able to get a high tech insight into building’s 800–year history following the launch of a new Discovery Space on Wednesday, 5th August.

Minister Paschal Donohoe experiences the Discovery Space

Located in the cathedral’s South Transept, the interpretative centre was officially opened by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe.

The Discovery Space includes a large touch screen table highlighting the cathedral’s history; iPads featuring the cathedral’s app, an area for doing brass rubbings, a large jigsaw of one of the cathedral’s stained glass windows, an audio visual unit and a reference library. All the modern technology is housed in recycled 19th century carved oak pews.

The 55–inch touch screen table allows users to explore the cathedral’s history and interior including its monuments, characters and stained glass windows as well as hidden areas of the building. The audio visual area includes videos and there are also facilities for presentations to be made to small groups.

The Discovery Space is the second phase of the €250,000 addition to the cathedral. Phase one involved the installation of the Tree of Remembrance in the north transept last summer. The tree commemorates those affected by conflict and has been accompanied by another interactive display remembering the First World War and the cathedral’s links to it.

Guests at the launch were welcomed by the cathedral administrator, Gavan Woods. He paid tribute to the cathedral’s education officer, Andrew Smith, who came up with the concept for the Discovery Space and worked to make it a reality. He also thanked Fáilte Ireland for providing 65 per cent of the funding for the project.

After a short blessing by Dean’s Vicar, Canon Charles Mullen and Canon Janet Catterall, Canon Horace McKinley said that the principal aim of the project was to enhance the visitor experience at St Patrick’s Cathedral and enable them to access more of the story of the cathedral.

‘We hope that this fantastic new interactive resource will make the cathedral even more accessible to those interested in our rich cultural heritage, encouraging them to stay longer and allowing them to learn in a more modern and interesting way,’ he said.

Director of Strategic Development with Fáilte Ireland, Orla Carroll, said that St Patrick’s Cathedral was a crucial part of the ‘Dubline’ tourist trail. She said that the interactive area was what Fáilte Ireland was all about. ‘We commend the board and those at the cathedral who had the vision to make this iconic place even more accessible,’ she added.

Visiting the Discovery Space

Minister Donohoe emphasised the magnitude and importance of the work being carried out at St Patrick’s Cathedral. ‘With a building of such magnificence it would be easy to sit back and say ‘we are already so successful’. But everyone involved with the cathedral has looked at ways to make it more relevant and accessible,’ he said.

‘This project is an example of what integration is. There is the integration of past and present … The recycled furniture which has been used in the cathedral for hundreds of years is integrated with this technology which is new and cutting edge. A sacred space and place of worship is integrated with a place of discovery. This space offers something that is contemporary and ancient and will appeal to young minds,’ he added.

The Discovery Space is the latest high tech addition to the St Patrick’s Cathedral. The cathedral’s app, which uses iBeacon technology to enable tourists to guide themselves through the building, was launched earlier this year.


United Diocese of Dublin & Glendalough

For further information please contact:

Lynn Glanville
Diocesan Communications Officer
Dublin & Glendalough

Mobile: 087 2356472
E–Mail: Dublin & Glendalough DCO



This article, New Technology Brings Ancient History Alive in St Patrick”s Cathedral, first appeared on Latest news from the Church of Ireland.