St. Michan's Church

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St. Michan's Church, Dublin

St Michan's Church and graveyard
53°20′51″N 6°16′32″W / 53.347455°N 6.275547°W / 53.347455; -6.275547Coordinates: 53°20′51″N 6°16′32″W / 53.347455°N 6.275547°W / 53.347455; -6.275547
Location Dublin
Country Ireland
Denomination Church of Ireland
Website Parish website - St. Michan's
Founded 1095 - Original chapel
1686 - Current structure
1825 - Renovated
Dedication St. Michan (5th century)[1]
Architect(s) William Robinson (1686)[2]
Parish Christ Church
Diocese Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough
Province Province of Dublin

St. Michan's Church /ˈmɪʃən/ located in Church Street, Dublin, Ireland, is a Church of Ireland church.


Built on the site of an early Danish chapel (1095), the current structure dates largely from a reconstruction in 1686, but is still (possibly) the only parish church on the north side of the Liffey surviving from a Viking foundation.

While the exterior of the church may be unimpressive, the interior boasts some fine woodwork, and an organ (dated 1724) on which Handel is said to have composed his Messiah.[3]


The vaults of St. Michan's uniquely contain many mummified remains.[2] The walls in the vaults contain limestone, which has kept the air dry, creating ideal conditions for preservation.[4] Among the preserved remains are the 400-year-old body of a nun, a six-and-a-half foot man popularly believed to have been a crusader, a body with its feet and right hand severed, and the Sheares brothers—Henry and John—who took part in the 1798 rebellion. The various holders of the title Earl of Leitrim were also interred here.[5]

The church and vaults are open to tours on Saturdays, and seasonally on some weekdays. As an active place of worship however, the church is closed on Sunday to visitors.[3]

Notable parishioners[edit]

Sir Mark Rainsford (c.1652–1709) was Lord Mayor of Dublin and owner of the brewery which was later sold to Arthur Guinness. He was married to Isabella Bolton in St Michan's on the 16 May 1695.

Dr Charles Lucas (1713-1771) was a physician and Member of Parliament for Dublin city.[5] He was buried at St Michan's in 1771.

Roger Ludlow (1590-1666) was a parishioner and one of the founders of the Connecticut colony.

Map of Dublin in 1610 (reprint from 1896) showing St. Michan's Church (Top left #1)



  1. ^ "Brief History of St. Michan s Church Halston Street" (PDF). Capuchin Friar's website. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "The Mummies of St. Michan's". Ireland for Visitors. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "St Michan's Church". Website of Christ Church Cathedral parishes. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Waking the Dead: The Mummies of Saint Michan's Church, Dublin". Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b George Newenham Wright (last modified 2005). "An Historical Guide to the City of Dublin". Online book. Retrieved 2010-02-02.