Knocktopher

Double-Effigy, Church and Medieval Tower

All that remains of the medieval parish church that was once property of the canons regular of St Augustine is a 13th Century square tower and a portion of the north wall of the church with its 15th century window. The first thing you are drawn to is the medieval tower. It is square at the bottom but has an octagonal crenellated top, an unusual feature that may be a modern addition. Surprisingly the tower also boasts a 12th century Romanesque doorway.

Under the tower is a very fine double-effigy tomb of a layman and his wife dating from about the mid 14th or early 15th century. They are wearing a gown with buttons on the sleeve and bodice, with a full knife-pleated skirt. Scattered around the double sepulchral slab are some early carved stones. Among these decorated stones in the vaulted room is an upright slab decorated with a cross and a spiral with lozenges along the vertical edges. There is also a wonderful corbel located to the right of the figures. Due to the strong sunlight on our visit, it was quite dark under the tower, but as our eyes adjusted to the light, these interesting carvings started to appear. Close by is the site of a Motte and Bailey Castle.

Situated: Easy. From Kilkenny take the N10 south for 16 kilometres to Knocktopher. Go through the crossroads. The Church and tower are on your right.

Discovery Map 67: S 5330 3716. Last visit July 2017.

Longitude: 7° 15' 55 " W

Latitude: 52° 29' 0 " N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey and Deb Snelson.

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