Kildreelig Oratory




N 51° 47' 47.7"   W 010° 18' 38.52"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

V 40626 63004

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Tuesday 14 June 2016

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The cluster of stones on the slope to the sea.

Reaching this site is an enthrilling adventure, because the narrow road that climbs up the cliffs is breathtaking in the true sense of the word!
On the slope to the sea there's a circular stone enclosure which includes the remains of an oratory, a souterrain, some stone huts, two wonderful cross slabs and what it seems a religious building. The settlement looks really old and could be dated to the 5th or 6th century.
The place is really overgrown and it is hard to tell things among the vegetation.
In the northeast quarter of the enclosed structure is the oratory, a small stone building with walls 1 metre thick and with inner dimension of 2.80 metres x 2.10 metres. It has a lintelled doorway in the southwest wall which is 60 centimetres wide and 75 centimetres high.
Opposite the oratory there are two stone huts or cells, likely the poor residences of the monks of this settlement.
North of the oratory is a beautiful cross slab which is 1.06 metres tall, 32 centimetres wide and 10 centimetres thick. On its west face a cross resembling a wheeled cross is carved, its diameter is 29 centimetres.
Another cross slab is just outside the enclosure, about 20 metres north (0°) from the first slab. In my opinion this slab is nicer than the first one. It has an inscribed carved cross with a diameter of 32 centimetres and with a vertical carved shaft of 1.03 metres. The slab measures 1.28 metres of height, 35 centimetres of width and 10 centimetres of thickness.
Another stone structure is at the far west end of the enclosure, probably a religious building, though it's hard to identify any feature except a large lintel stone in the west wall.
The views from up here are absolutely stunning, especially in a sunny and dry day like the one we had!

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