Ballinskelligs Church




N 51° 48' 56.22"   W 010° 16' 18.66"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

V 43371 65037

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Tuesday 14 June 2016

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The church in ruins in the graveyard.

A monastic settlement was founded here in 12th century by a group of monks who left the monastic settlement on Skellig Michael. These monks adopted the Augustinian rule and dedicated this settlement to St. Michael.
The ruins that we see today date to the 15th century, but the action of the sea has made lots of damages and erosion on the building. There were two churches and other buildings around a cloister, but today most of the original structure is gone.
The smaller church is aligned to east (100°) and this section stands to its full height. The other walls have partly collapsed. It appears that the building has been recently restored.
In the north wall there's a Gothic doorway with a small square window next to it. A narrow window is on the upper floor.
There's a number of opening of all shapes and sizes in the east wall. Corbels for the upper floor are clearly visible all around inside this church, but because their height from the ground is 1.50 metres I might reckon that the ground level has raised by at least 50 centimetres since this church was built.
The larger church is long and narrow with both west and east gables still standing. A large Gothic doorway is in the east wall, and a narrow window in the west wall. To the east there's also an intact bell-cot. The inside of this church has been used for burials and several headstones poke out the ground.
South of this church is the cloister and the poor remains of a long domestic building and another building that could have been a tower house, the prior's residence, but on the day of our visit these parts of the ruins were closed due to restoration works.
From these churches McCarthy's Castle is clearly visible about 500 metres to the north.

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