The Sideways Chapel of Our Lady, County Down, Northern IrelandDuring one of the bloodiest periods of religious conflict in Ireland, all Catholic religious buildings were designated "criminal" by King Henry VIII. Legislation was further strengthened two decades later when Elizabeth I declared that any ground sullied in the British Isles with the presence of a Catholic place of worship was deemed "ungodly".
That's when Ultan Fitzwaldrick, Archbishop of Combs - and a mathematician by birth - came up with the novel idea of "shifting the grounds" of his new Cathedral sidewards. Technically, because the floor is on the wall, the grounds themselves were not "sullied" according to the Strictures of the Tudors.
The church's interior requires a lot of ropework. All of the pews are nailed to the wall-floor using pegs hewn from iron ingots that were smuggled into Ireland from Catholic Spain. The altar itself was built into the church's construction.
The Cathedral has since lost its place as a seat of power, but in 1852 it was given the status of "Glorious Chapel" by the Vatican. The church's interior is so safe that since its original construction in 1582, only three priests and forty-two altar boys have fallen to their deaths during Mass services, but it is thought that dozens of regular members of the congregation have been killed due to falling goblets.
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