A 13th century building of great charm which nestles in the village of Old Leighlin (Leath gleann – half-glen), St. Laserian’s Cathedral replaced a 7th century monastery which once accommodated 1,500 monks. 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. 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. Nearby is St. Laserian’s Well with its Celtic cross believed to date from the time of the saint. Buses, educational and pilgrim tours welcome.
HOW TO FIND US: 14 km from Carlow Town, off the N9 beyond the village of Leighlinbridge. Well signposted. From Dublin/Waterford take exit 6 on M9 motorway and follow signs for Leighlinbridge. St. Laserian’s Cathedral is signposted off the R448, 2km beyond the village of Leighlinbridge.
OPENING TIMES: Easter Weekend to end September seven days per week from 12 to 4 p.m. and/or by arrangement. T: 059 9721570.
ADMISSION CHARGES: Free, however a donation of €2 is greatly appreciated towards the cathedral’s upkeep and development.