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When
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Coughlanstown West Church
 

County

Kildare

Coordinates

N 53° 08' 11.0"   W 006° 39' 37.6"

Nearest town

Ballymore Eustace

Grid Ref.

N 89702 10349

Map No.

55

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

123

Date of visit

Wednesday 26 May 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

5
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The ruins of the church seen from the road.


This church, dedicated to St. James, is in the property of the Stonebrook Pet Farm, but it's easily accessible. All the building is in ruin, it measures 15 metres by 6 metres, it has a double window on the east wall, a small window on the south wall and a window and a doorway on the north wall. The window on the west wall is concealed by the thick vegetation.
Inside the church, on the south wall, there's a recess with the shaft of a memorial cross. The upper part of this shaft has a hollow where visitors use to leave an offering.
There's an inscription on the shaft that reads "Eustace Lord Portlester 1462", dedicated to Rowland FitzEustace of Harristown, nominated Baron Portlester in 1462 by king Edward IV of England, but from the lettering style it appears this inscription was added in the 17th century. The shaft is 67 centimetres tall, 25 centimetres wide and 18 centimetres thick. It stands on a square base of 60 centimetres and 30 centimetres of height.
The tomb of Rowland FitzEustace with a wonderful double effigy is in the ancient graveyard at New Abbey, about 5 km from here.
Presumably this is the church where local craftsmen were going to bring the Coughlanstown East cross to when they dropped it from the cart.


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