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St. Kerrill's Abbey Church
 

County

Galway

Coordinates

N 53° 22' 59.7"   W 008° 34' 55.4"

Nearest town

Athenry

Grid Ref.

M 61318 37142

Map No.

46

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

100

Date of visit

Tuesday 8 June 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The ruins of the abbey seen from the road to the south of it.


Our intention was to see some cross bases in this area, but we only found one of them and it was a really sad sight. What looked a little better was the ruined church with an adjoining modern graveyard not far from the cross base.
The local lore has it that an early church was founded by St. Kerrill at this site. Saint Kerrill, also known as Caireall mac Curnain, was a Christian missionary in the area that is now known as East County Galway. He lived in the second half of the 5th century, his feast day is June 13th.
The early church allegedly built by this saint was later replaced by a medieval parish church which was subsequently converted into a monastery for the Franciscan Third Order around 1435.
The ruins that we see today are of the east end of the church and the south transept with a fine three-light traceried window in south gable and two windows in east wall. The main section of the building measure about 12 metres in length and about 6.50 metres in width. The south wall of the chancel has a decorated two-light lancet window with a hood moulding. In the east gable wall is set a plaque with a nice image of a bishop dating from the 18th century.

UPDATE: June 9th, 2014 - New visit to the ruins of this abbey.
One of the chest tombs in the graveyard has a very unusual carving of a cat on the front side.
The photos 6 to 13 are from this last visit.


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