Gothic St Stephen’s Cathedral, like cathedrals world wide was completed after more than a century had passed between the foundation stone being laid in 1860 and the final touches added towards the end of the 1980’s.
The five archbishops that consecutively oversaw its construction are interned in its crypt, including the unpopular autocratic Archbishop Quinn (whose statue, a full version of Italian sculptor Achille Simonetti’s carved bust that lives in the Sisters of Mercy Heritage Centre, stands alone in the grounds), kindly Archbishop Dunne who was a good friend to the cursed Mayne family, and Archbishop Duhig who as the Donald Trump of the catholic church, bought up much prime land for their cause in Brisbane.
Of note are the gorgeous stained glass windows - amongst the finest in Australia - the work of Irish, English, European and Australian glaziers. Dr James Mayne donated the grand East windows in memory of his troubled brother Isaac and his sister Emily while two windows on the south wall are in memorium of his father Patrick and mother Mary (the only non-catholic to become ‘part of the furniture’).
A must see at the rear of the cathedral is the splendid carved Carrara marble baptismal font and more so, in the grounds outside, the great hulking cast iron bell made at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry around the time Jack the Ripper was stalking victims in the nearby streets. It was this Foundry that also made the Liberty Bell and Big Ben.