Standing at the top of St Nicholas Street (and of course outside The Liberties – in that part of the Dublin called ‘the city’!) lies the curious little ruin of St Nicholas Within. Its ignominious namesake ‘Without’ originally lay within the precincts of St Patrick’s Cathedral before its parish merged in the 18th century with the adjoining parish of St Luke’s on The Coombe (ironically, which itself had been originally carved out of the old parish of St Nicholas Without). The posher Catholic version – St Nicholas de Myra – lies on Francis Street and is one of the area’s finest churches, built in the great wave of church-building that followed Catholic Emancipation in 1829. That church regales in its stunning classical interior, Harry Clarke windows and John Foley-sculpted ‘Pieta’ altarpiece.
But how long has this St Nick’s stood as a ruin on the street? (more…)