1798 – Chapel, Trinity College Dublin

Architect: Sir William Chambers



The chapel was designed by Sir William Chambers in 1798 to match his Examination Hall across the quadrangle. The chapel is much more elaborate and is unique in Ireland in that it is used by all religious denominations. Externally like the Examination Hall, with a classical temple front, the chapel proper is buried with the larger block seen above. As in the Examination Hall the interior is lit by semi circular windows set into the ceiling. Unlike the Examination Hall, the chapel has one wall, the west, which is unencumbered by external structure and has three large round headed windows.


Internally the building is graced by fine plasterwork on the ceiling by the renowned Dublin stuccodore Michael Stapleton. The chapel retains its traditional layout of oak pews facing each other across the central aisle. A gallery at the south end contains an excellent example of Irish organ case design.

From Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837 “The chapel, which is on the north side, is ornamented in front by a handsome portico of four Corinthian columns, supporting a rich cornice surmounted by a pediment; the interior is 80 feet in length, exclusively of a semicircular recess of 20 feet radius, 40 feet broad, and 44 feet in height; the front of the organ gallery is richly ornamented with carved oak.”

The Irish Builder described some interior work by John McCurdy in 1871, “Some repairs and improvements have taken place in this chapel, which has been reopened a few days since. The chancel has been paved with encaustic tiles of a diaper pattern, and a balustrade, composed pf Irish marbles, has been erected in front. The plinth is of Galway black marble. The rails above the base moulding are what is termed Irish Jasper, from Ballinacurra quarry, opened by Messrs. Sibthorpe and Son, of this city. The hand-rail capping and the steps leading to the chancel are of Westmeath marble, polished. The aisle is also laid with encaustic tiles, and a heating apparatus has been introduced, supplied by Messrs. Ross and Murray. The tiles were supplied by Messrs. Maw and Co., but the work of putting down was done by Messrs. Sibthorpe. The work of improvement was done under the superintendence of Mr. John McCurdy, C.E.”

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