Armagh

Founded by St. Patrick* in the fifth century, it is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland in the sense that it is the seat of the primates of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland. The Church of Ireland cathedral dates probably from the thirteenth century, though it was completely rebuilt in the eighteenth century; the Roman Catholic cathedral was consecrated in 1875. Traditions of Patrick's links with Armagh gave it a prominent place in Irish ecclesiastical history from an early date: it was a seat of learning from the fifth century, and its college achieved considerable international fame. Patrick's successors in Armagh were called the heirs of Patrick and claimed some measure of jurisdiction over other churches in Ireland. Up to the early years of the twelfth century Armagh maintained the independence of the Celtic Church from the Roman and English churches. In 1152 at the Synod of Kells it was made the primatial see of Ireland.