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Coole Lower Church
 

County

Cork

Coordinates

N 52° 06' 26.88"   W 008° 12' 16.98"

Nearest town

Castlelyons

Grid Ref.

W 85977 95084

Map No.

81

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

85

Date of visit

Friday 10 June 2016

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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Not much remains of Coole Lower church.


This area is associated with two saints, Abban and Dalbach, and has the name of Coole Abbey, though no abbey is visible today.
Of the monastery founded here in the 5th or 6th century only two churches and a holy well survive.

This church is the smaller of the two. It was built in the 12th century and had antae clearly visible at the corners of the east wall, which hint us that this church was built in the Hiberno-Romanesque architecture. The antae project from the wall for 25 centimetres. The east gable is the only part of the church that has a height of a religious building. All the rest is not taller than 1 metre. The church measures 12 metres of length and 6 metres of width, and is aligned to east-northeast (75°).
The east wall has two more very interesting features, a narrow triangular headed window and a stone altar with three steps below it. A local tradition has it that this altar was used to say mass during the Penal Times.
It is also said that one of St. Patrick's teeth was kept here as a relic in medieval times.
In what remains of the west gable, a stone stile has been inserted, but this is clearly a modern addition.
The weather was really miserable during our visit here and we had to wait in the car for a long time before being able to walk to the church, and once there we had to take shelter under the nearby tree because it poured rain again!


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