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St. Lommán's Abbey Church
 

County

Westmeath

Coordinates

N 53° 34' 16.7"   W 007° 24' 30.9"

Nearest town

Mullingar

Grid Ref.

N 39234 58080

Map No.

41

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

102

Date of visit

Thursday 26 May 2011

GPS Accuracy (m)

9
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The ruins of the St. Lommán's church seen from the northeast.


At the end of a narrow lane, beyond the gate of a water treatment plant, on the southwest shore of Lough Owel, is a small and very ancient graveyard with the remains of a very old church dedicated to St. Lommán or Loman.
According to some sources, St. Lommán was a nephew of St. Patrick, but it's more likely that he was one of his disciples. St. Lommán founded the church at this site in the 6th century and became the abbot of the abbey.
The lore has it that in times of the Plague St. Lommán prayed to keep it away from his church and so people from all over Ireland gathered here in sign of devotion.
The church is completely ruined and partially overgrown. The chancel is aligned to the east-southeast (105°), towards the lake. I have no information about these ruins, but the existing building was built on the site of the original monastery founded by St. Lommán in the 6th century.
The building measures about 23 metres in length and 6 metres in width.
All around it several old graves are scattered, but the most peculiar one is a sort of inclined altar tomb with an elegant cross carved on the upper slab. It seems that a very important ecclesiastic was buried here.

The reason that led us here was the fact that we should have found a standing stone, but we didn't find it. Anyway we were rewarded by this beautiful old church and graveyard


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