St Michael's Cathedral, Shimla, India, by Henry Irwin

St Michael's Cathedral, Shimla, by Henry Irwin, was built in dressed grey stone as the Cathedral of St Michael and St Joseph in 1885, when Lord Ripon (a Roman Catholic) was Viceroy. In Ripon Place, just off the Mall in present-day Shimla, it was the first Roman Catholic church to be built in the hill station, and served as the cathedral of a new diocese, which now includes Chandigarh. It would have been designed by or under the auspices of Henry Irwin, the then Superintendent Engineer and Architect of the PWD in Simla, who "designed most of the large buildings in the 1880s" (Kanwar 51), including the Ripon Hospital. Pleasingly plain inside, it has a wide nave and two aisles. The beautifully proportioned stained glass window over the altar shows St Francis on the left and St Joseph on the right.

Photographs, captions and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite the Victorian Web in a print document. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Related Material


"Henry Irwin: Architect. Simla 1881-1888." Viewed 17 March 2008 (this useful site lists the Roman Catholic Church as one of Irwin's buildings in Shimla).

Heritage of Shimla, Town & Country Planning Department, Shimla. Revised Heritage Report (4).

Kanwar, Pamela. Imperial Simla: The Political Culture of the Raj. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. 2003.

Last modified 1 July 2015