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Kilwirra Church
 

County

Louth

Coordinates

N 53° 59' 09.96"   W 006° 09' 18.6"

Nearest town

Carlingford

Grid Ref.

J 20988 05670

Map No.

35

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

33

Date of visit

Sunday 26 May 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The old church of Kilwirra from the southeast.


Kilwirra is the anglicisation of the Irish name Cill Mhuire, meaning "Mary's Church".

The site where the church stands is associated with the Knights Templar who were granted the land in the 12th century to establish a preceptory.
This church, now in ruins, dates to the 15th century, and is at the end of the Cooley Peninsula.
The church is 15 metres long and about 6 metres wide, and is aligned to the east-northeast (75°).
The east-northeast wall has a narrow trilobate window. There's another irregular opening to the right of the window, I don't think it's a breach in the wall, more likely the attempt to create another light in the wall.
In the east-southeast wall there's a lintelled opening in the chancel wall, another narrow window is halfway the length along with a round headed doorway.
The west-northwest wall has three massive buttresses to support it.
Inside the church there are a piscina and a small ambry in the chancel. There are also two corbels in the same wall, I think they were meant to support some religious statues.
The west-southwest wall is partly missing and collapsed.

The surrounding graveyard has a good number of interesting slabs, with a few of them dating to the first half of the 18th century.


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