St Laserian's Cathedral
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The Revd. Stan Evans, Resident Priest, The Deanery, Old Leighlin, Carlow, Republic of Ireland
St Laserian’s is a wonderful example of a late-12th century cathedral found in Old Leighlin, about 15km south of Carlow Town. The house of worship stands on the site where St Gobban founded a monastery in the 7th century.
Early in the seventh century St. Gobban founded a monastery at Old Leighlin which once accommodated 1,500 monks and . The site was the location of an important church synod in 630 A.D. which influenced the system for establishing the date of Easter each year, a formula still used to this day. St. Laserian’s Cathedral replaced the 7th century monastery.
The cathedral embraces a fascinating and often violent history of Viking raids, murder and religious turbulence. Its thirteenth century nave and chancel and its fifteenth century tower and Lady Chapel remain largely unchanged. Also to be seen are the unique four-bay sedilia, the twelfth and thirteenth century fonts and the splendid Catherine O’Brien East Window. Today, St. Laserian’s remains an unspoilt and magical place.