St Columb’s Cathedral pre-1885

Our history photograph this week is quite an old one showing St Columb’s Cathedral.

The image was taken before 1885 and shows the main entrance from London Street.

What is even more interesting is that it shows key buildings on the left and right as you look at the Cathedral.

The building on the right was the old Cathedral School, which was possibly known as the Deanery School and which was demolished in 1892, when the present school building was erected.

The building on the left was in Widow’s Row, where houses were built for the widows of clergy.

This area on the left is where the present school building now stands.

As you can clearly see in the image, there is no Chancel on the end of the Cathedral building.

The present Chancel was not built when the photograph was taken. Work only began on the Chancel in 1885, so that helps in a way to date the picture, albeit to pre-1885. As far as we have been able to ascertain, it was taken by photographer Alexander Ayton who had a studio in Kennedy Place and later in Shipquay Place.