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Sleaty Church
 

County

Laois

Coordinates

N 52° 51' 28.8"   W 006° 56' 31.1"

Nearest town

Carlow

Grid Ref.

S 71319 79053

Map No.

61

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

59

Date of visit

Monday 10 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The south wall of the church with its doorway.


St. Fiacc founded his first monastery on the other side of River Barrow, but after many years of austere life he followed an angel who commanded him to found a new monastery at the site where he would have found a deer and a boar. That place was Sleaty. He ruled the new monastery as an abbot and in the same time he was the bishop of the surrounding country. He lived a long life and outlived 60 of his monks. He was buried here at Sleaty. His son Fiacre shares the same grave.
One of the most famous abbots of this monastery was Aodh who lived in the 7th century and was also one of the first biographers of St. Patrick.
The last record regarding this church is from 1055.
The current building is from medieval times and is in ruinous conditions. The most intact part is the west gable. The church has a doorway in the south (165°) wall. The altar in the church looks east (75°). There are no visible windows, though a change in the masonry in the east gable might suggest that a window could have been in this wall. The building measures 11 metres in length and 6.50 metres in width.
In the graveyard there are two beautiful granite crosses that are much older than the building.
The first cross is at 3 metres west of the church, it's 2.83 metres tall, 37 centimetres wide at the base and 28 centimetres thick. The arms opens at 77 centimetres.
The second cross is 8.50 metres south from the church, it's 1.44 metres tall, 38 centimetres wide at the base and 26 centimetres thick. The arms opens at 73 centimetres.


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