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St. Catherine's Church
 

County

Dublin

Coordinates

N 53° 29' 38.04"   W 006° 06' 43.68"

Nearest town

Portrane

Grid Ref.

O 25666 50982

Map No.

43

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

14

Date of visit

Saturday 13 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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Approaching the ruins.


What brought us here was the presence of a red dot on the map.
What we found here are the ruins of an interesting medieval church with a three-story tower with a crenellated top, typical of many churches in the area of the Pale.
It seems that the original building is from the end of the 12th century. At that time it was owned by the Nunnery of Grace Dieu, an Augustinian community, and it was dedicated to st. Canice.
This religious community was dissolved in 1540 during the suppression of monasteries under king Henry VIII.
In 1576 the church and the nearby castle were granted to Francis Agard by Queen Elizabeth I. The church was then dedicated to St. Catherine and remained in use for another century before falling in disrepair and ruins.
The church and tower are within a stone enclosure which includes the graveyard as well.
The building is 21 metres long and 6 metres wide with the altar side to the east (90°), and is divided in two sections, nave and chancel, with the latter section being a bit narrower.
The south wall has two fine windows and a doorway. The tower is at the west end of the church, with windows in the west wall and two carved heads high on the walls on the north and south sides.
The atmosphere around the church is badly ruined by the oppressive presence of modern houses on the north side and a quite busy road on the south and east sides.


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