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St. Dubhan's Church
 

County

Wexford

Coordinates

N 52° 08' 03.3"   W 006° 55' 38.2"

Nearest town

Fethard-on-Sea

Grid Ref.

X 73504 98531

Map No.

76

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

18

Date of visit

Saturday 15 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The ruins of St. Dubhan's church as they are seen from the road. The burial ground had been treated with weed-killer, but the grass was safe where the visitors' feet trampled the ground.


While we were going to the Hook Head Lighthouse, we saw this small church in a field on the side of road.
It is dedicated to St. Dubhan, who came from Wales to Ireland in 452 AD along with a group of his followers. According to the tradition, one of the first things he did as soon as he arrived to this place was to lit a fire to be used as a beacon to warn the sailors of the dangerous rocks along the coast. He also founded a monastery and the part of the peninsula where this monastery was became known with the name of Rinn Dubhán, that means "Dubhan Head". As the Irish word Dubhán also means "hook", the place was later anglicized as Hook Head.
The present building dates from the 13th or 14th century.
Originally it was a single nave church, but a chancel and an altar were added later. The east window is aligned to 90°. It also had a double bell-cot high on the west gable, but now this interesting feature has disappeared.
A doorway is in the north wall, and there are windows in the north and south walls.
The building is 4.50 metres wide and 12 metres long in the early section and another 6 metres long for the chancel.


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