The tomb shrine

Killoluaig Tomb Shrine

This is another site I tried to visit last year but I was thwarted by the presence of a bull. This time I felt quite elated as I hopped over the low fence and walked across to the enclosure, but the elation did not last long as this early Christian site has been badly neglected. The gorse has been allowed to totally overrun the site. The site consists of an early Christian enclosure with an outdoor altar or leact inside it. Standing on top of the rectangular leacht is a gable-shrine. These are sometimes called tent shrines for obvious reasons. They were used to house the relics of early saints and probably date to around the 8th century. Not far from here is a similar shrine Kilabounia. The finest example I have seen is the one at Temple Cronan in Clare.

Situated: From Portmagee head east on the R565. After 6.5 Kilometres turn right. Signed Baile na Sceilg (Ballinskelligs). The site is 500 m down here on the right. Please be careful.

Discovery Map 83: V 4347 7297. Last visit May 2013.

Longitude: 10° 16' 26" W

Latitude: 51° 53' 14" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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