St Patrick’s Lady Chapel
One of Dublin’s latest tourist attractions is the thirteenth century Lady Chapel of St. Patrick’s Cathedral that has been newly restored after many years.
The chapel has been mainly associated with French Protestants fleeing religious persecution. Religious freedom had been guaranteed by Henry the Fourth in the Edict of Nantes of 1598 but less than a hundred years later in 1685 Louis the Fourteenth revoked the edict and unleashed a campaign of persecution against French Protestants, also known as Huguenots. Many fled to other parts of Europe, including Ireland.
The Chapter of St. Patrick’s offered the use of the Lady Chapel to the Huguenots and it was known as the French Church until well into the 19th century.
Paul Loughlin met Gavan Woods, administrator of St. Patrick’s, in the Cathedral and he explained the mediaeval tradition of building special chapels dedicated to Our Lady within great cathedrals.