Chapel of St Patrick and the Saints of Ireland, Westminster Cathedral

From the Cathedral’s website:

“St Patrick (387 – 461) brought the Christian faith to Ireland, and is venerated as their patron saint.

In the chapel, which awaits completion (with mosaic decoration), green is the dominant colour, with much of the marble originating in Ireland. Celtic designs are inlaid on the floor and at the foot of the altar. The image of the shamrock (used by St Patrick to explain the Trinity) can be seen throughout the chapel: on the rear wall, in the marble screen separating the chapel from the gallery, behind the altar (see image) and on the decoration of the wooden furniture.

Above the altar is a bronze gilt statue of St Patrick, in the style of an ancient Celtic carving. The statue was designed by *Arthur Pollen and placed in the Chapel in 1961.

Nearby is a mosaic of St Patrick, erected in 1999. The saint is shown holding his shepherd’s crook with his right hand and the shamrock leaf in his left. St Patrick appears old – tradition has it that he lived to a ripe old age.

The snakes which curl around the altar and in the mosaics around the chapel recall the legend of St Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland.

Around the chapel walls are the badges of the Irish Regiments which fought in World War I. In a casket by the altar are inscribed the names of 50,000 Irish soldiers who died at that time. In 2001 the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, prayed in the chapel and laid a wreath to the dead commemorated here – a visit also made by President Mary Robinson in 1996.

Outside the chapel, a mosaic commemorates St Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh. St Oliver was the last martyr in England to die for the Catholic Faith, and was executed at Tyburn in 1681.”

Below are listed some descendants of the Pollen Baronetcy of Redenham, in the County of Southampton, a title in the Baronetage of Great Britain. It was created on 15 May 1795 for John Pollen. The family descended from Edward Pollen (died 1636), a London merchant originally from Lincolnshire.

• John Hungerford Pollen (senior) (1820–1902), Catholic convert and father of ten children including eight sons

  • John Hungerford Pollen (Jesuit) (1858–1925), eldest son of above (his next brother’s grandson became 7th Baronet).
  • Arthur Pollen (1866–1937) inventor, 6th son of the first John Hungerford Pollen (and father of the sculptor *Arthur Joseph Lawrence Pollen (1899-1968) ).
  • Clare Asquith (born 1951), scholar, great-granddaughter of above
  • Arabella Pollen (born 1961) knitwear designer, now novelist, granddaughter of Sir Walter Michael Hungerford Pollen, and great-granddaughter of Robert Henry Benson, art collector (died 1929).
  • Arabella Pollen’s father Peregrine Pollen, auctioneer, was born on January 24, 1931. He died after being struck by a lorry on February 18, 2020, aged 89.

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