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When
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Oughtmama East Church Church
 

County

Clare

Coordinates

N 53° 07' 01.74"   W 009° 02' 14.34"

Nearest town

Ballyvaughan

Grid Ref.

M 30559 07903

Map No.

51

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

81

Date of visit

Wednesday 12 June 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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Approaching from the east.


Oughtmama was an important monastic site in the early Middle Ages, and according to the tradition it also had a bishop, but its importance dropped when the nearby Corcomroe Abbey was built in about 1200.

The name Oughtmama comes from the Irish Ucht Máma meaning Breast of the Mountain Pass, after the mountain to the northeast with the same name and that looks like a woman's breast.
The monastic site was originally located within a rather elliptical enclosure, and had three churches and a mill, with huts and small houses outside to the east of the enclosure.

The church featured in this page is the easternmost church of the monastic site, and it is likely the oldest one.
It's a single cell building, 7.97 metres long and 5.01 metres wide, aligned to the northeast (65°).
Only the northeast wall stands nearly to its full height. It has a nice round headed splayed window with slightly slanted jambs. There's no altar under the window, there's only a recess in the wall. The other walls are very low in height, the hint of a doorway is in the southeast wall.

Judging by the masonry and the window style I could say the church is 11th century.


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