Tubbrid Church




N 52° 18' 50.8"   W 007° 56' 56.1"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

S 03535 18001

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Wednesday 19 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

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This is the older church at Tubbrid, also known as a Mortuary Chapel and with this name it is labelled on the OS map.

At Tubbrid there are two churches.
The name Tubbrid is a distortion of the Irish word "Tiobraid" that means "well". There's a holy well in the area and it is said that at that well Saint Declan baptised a local baby named Ciaran Mac Eochaidh who later became a saint himself, founded a monastery and worked many miracles. St. Ciaran is commemorated at Ballylooby, a village 5.5 km northwest from here. This well ha been a place of pilgrimage for a long time.
Tubbrid village has been abandoned many years ago, but it still retains the evidences of its long history.

There is a very old and roofless church built in 1644, now in complete ruins, and it's known as a Mortuary Chapel. The building underwent some attempts of restoration and conservative works. The iron tie-rods that run along the church and tie the east and west gables are the evidence of these attempts.
The surrounding graveyard has many old and beautiful gravestones and is the burial place of Dr. Geoffrey Keating, born in the nearby Burgess, a catholic priest, poet and renowned historian. He's known for being the author of Foras Feasa ar Éirinn (History of Ireland) written in 1634, though the exact location of his grave is unknown. Over the doorway of the church there's a slab with a Latin inscription that reads:
Orate Pro Aiabs P. Eugenu: Duhy Vic de Tybrud: et D: Doct Galf: Keating huis Sacelli Fundatoru: necno et pro oibs alusta sacerd. quam laicis quoru corpa in eod: jacet sa A Dom 1644
Which can be translated as
Pray for the souls of Father Eugenius Duhy, Vicar of Tybrud, and of Geoffrey Keating, D.D., Founders of this Chapel; and also for all others, both Priests and Laics whose bodies lie in the same chapel. In the year of the Lord 1644

The second church has a very intriguing architecture. This was the Anglican church when Tubbrid was a parish, and replaced the first church. It was built in 1820 and was abandoned in 1919 and now it's in bad conditions. Unfortunately this church can't be accessed. One of the most interesting features of this more modern building is that on one of the pinnacle of the belfry a pair of peregrin falcons made their nest. While the female was hatching her eggs, the male made his best to keep us away from the church.

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