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When
Why
Trinity Island Priory Church
 

County

Cavan

Coordinates

N 53° 59' 10.5"   W 007° 27' 46.8"

Nearest town

Killashandra

Grid Ref.

H 35278 04233

Map No.

34

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

60

Date of visit

Friday 27 May 2011

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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Looking west along what once was the nave of the church.


We came here in 2002, on May 5th, on a beautiful and hot day. This time we found a windy, wet and terribly cold weather.
From the car park we walked for 1.9 km and 26 minutes to reach the ruins of this old church on the shores of Lough Oughter.

The abbey was built in 1237 by Clarus McMaylan Mulconry, Archdeacon of Elphin, for the White Canons from Trinity Island on the Lough Kee. This abbey was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and the island where it was built on, who belonged to Cathal O'Reilly, had its name changed from Oak Island to Trinity Island.
The building is 21 metres long and 6 metres wide, with the doorway facing west (280°). Nothing remains apart from the west wall with the doorway and the double bell-cot gable. The entrance was adorned by a wonderful four-order Romanesque doorway, carved in 1160-1170, but this was removed and used to be inserted in the St. Fethlimidh's Cathedral, about 8 km from here. This place is magic. Once you are here you forget about the rest of the world. No sound apart from the natural ones can be heard.

Don't forget that this place is on a private property and that the whole path from the car park to the church is private.
Nine years ago we stopped for the night in Killashandra but we didn't know of this church. The owner of Trinity Island at that time was running a restaurant where we dined. He saw us and understood we were different tourists from the rest so he spontaneously gave us the directions to reach this place. This time we didn't meet him, but before starting our long walk to the church we called the phone number indicated on the gate that closes the road to the island, 049-4334314. We tried twice, noboby answered, so we started anyway.
On our way back, over one hour and a half later, we met a lady who was the owner's wife, who told us off for not calling the number before stepping in. We proved that we called them twice, the phone calls I made were still on my mobile phone, she told us they were home but the phone didn't ring. Anyway she let us go away.
A piece of advice. Call the number on the gate before setting off the walk to the church. And make sure you obtain the permission.


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