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It’s not something you’d expect to find in a place of prayer and worship.

Yet visitors to St Fin Barre’s Cathedral are often confused to discover a cannonball suspended from a chain just beyond the Dean’s Chapel.

So how exactly did this curious artefact get there?

Well, it turns out the cannonball arrived the traditional way; the 24 pound shot was fired from nearby Elizabeth Fort on Barrack Street during the siege of Cork in 1690.

It sat in the steeple of the old cathedral for years, right up until the building was demolished to make way for the magnificent structure that stands there to this day, in 1864.

The cannon ball is one of many quirky curiosities that can be seen inside the vast William Burges-designed French Gothic building.

As well as more than 1,200 sculptures, from stone heads to gargoyles, towering spires and magnificent stained-glass windows, this brass winged dragon sits beneath the pulpit. According to the Church of Ireland, the dragon symbolises evil taking flight “at the sound of the Word being preached”.

You can drop by and see the swinging cannonball, the brass dragon and countless other fascinating from Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 5:30pm- grab a map at the gift shop to help you explore.

Main image: Bianka Laszlo

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