21 May 2019

River bank and ‘Monks’ Walk’
offer different perspectives
of Saint Mary’s Cathedral

Walking along the ‘monks’ walk’ in the clerestory in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Patrick Comerford

Following a working, lunchtime meeting in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, yesterday [20 May 2019], I wanted to photograph the large Ascension window from the Harry Clarke studio in the Jebb Chapel in the North Transept.

This Ascension Window was dedicated on 28 February 1961 by the then Archbishop of York, Michael Ramey, who was about to become Archbishop of Canterbury. I want to use a photograph of this window to illustrate a posting on Thursday with liturgical and preaching resources for Ascension Day next week.

However, my previous photographs of this window have failed to portray this window in all its glory and majesty. The large monument of Bishop Jebb encroaches from most angles, and the height of the window means most photographs end up with a distorted, tapering image.

There was only one solution.

Craig Copley-Brown, a history student and verger in the cathedral, brought me up the tower, and along the ‘monks’ walk’ into the clerestory, where I had a parallel face-to-face encounter with the window in the bright daylight.

The chancel of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, seen from the clerestory (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Walking along the clerestory gives a very different impression of the mediaeval cathedral, and different perspectives of the main part of the building below.

I got another view of Saint Mary’s Cathedral later in the afternoon as I walked along Clancy’s Strand on the opposite bank of the River Shannon in the bright May sunshine.

In the solitude of the cathedral clerestory or strolling on the river banks in the late afternoon, there are different perspectives Saint Mary’s in the afternoon lights, and it is a privilege to part of its life and its history.

As for the Ascension Window in the Jebb Chapel, I hope to post that photograph on Thursday morning [23 May 2019].

Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, and the River Shannon seen from Clancy’s Strand (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019; click on image for full-screen view)

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