West gable


Kilcowanmore Parish Church

About 80 NE of St Cowan's Well stands the ruins of Kilcowanmore parish church. All that remains today is the west gable. It was a single cell nave and chancel church, possibly built on the site of an earlier monastic foundation. The information board tells us it was held by the Knights Hospitallers, whose Priory was located at Ballyhogue a short distance away. It is believed the Keatings granted it to the Hospitallers. By coincidence Kilcowan Parish Church in Hooks townland 30 kilometres south of here was also held by the Keatings. This may have led to some confusion as I believe the Synnotts held the castle at Ballybrennan.

There appears to be even more confusion about St Cuan, is the church and well dedicated to St Cuan of Airbhre, or St Cuanan Glinne of Moville in County Down? The article referenced below also mentions a St Cuana, the 9th Bishop of the Diocese, who died in 742CE. An introduction to a poem, published in The People in 1891, suggests a St Cuan was buried in this graveyard. A medieval grave cover and a stone cross that were present in the graveyard are now missing, even if they were present I doubt if I would have found them in the long grass.

Situated: The church can be seen on top of a small hill north east of St Cowan's holy well, by the side of the R730.

Discovery Map 77: S 9190 3224. Last visit July 2019.

Longitude: 6° 38' 55" W

Latitude: 52° 26' 3" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey

Ref: Sheil, P. “Parish of Bree.” The Past: The Organ of the Uí Cinsealaigh Historical Society, no. 2, 1921, pp. 113–119. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25519790.

Previous-----Home-----Next Page