In 1191, under John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, Saint Patrick's was raised to the status of a cathedral and the present building, the largest church in the country, was erected between 1200 and 1270. Over the centuries as the elements, religious reformation and persecution took their toll, the cathedral fell into serious disrepair, despite many attempts to restore it. Eventually between 1860 and 1900 a full-scale restoration based on the original design, was carried out by the Guinness family.

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