St Declan's Church/Temple Dysert

After St Declan founded a monastery at Ardmore, he established a small hermitage on the eastern side of the hill where he would retire and gather his thoughts. All that remains on the site today are St Declan's Holy Well and this much later 13th century church, parts of which are 14th century. There is no record of any early pilgrimage to this site at Ardmore. The earliest records of a pilgrimage to here only date back to the 18th century. Recently a modern Pattern day Festival has been organised. It takes place on the 24th July to commemorate St Declan.

Upon entering the grounds of the Hermitage the pilgrims would make a sign of the cross with water from the holy well. They would then recite the Lords Prayer and a Hail Mary. The pilgrims would then circle the church three times in a clockwise motion while reciting the rosary. They would also make a sign of the cross at the old cross pictured above. This is the site of the old church ruin. At the end of their visit the pilgrims would then drink water from the well. This is a wonderful site to visit early in the morning as we did, the church looked quite stunning lit up by the morning light. From here there is a delightful 5 km Cliff Walk that takes you back around to the monastic site.

Situated: Very easy. At Ardmore follow directions for the Cliff Hotel. From here follow the trail leading to the cliff walk. The church can be seen from the track just beyond the holy well.

Discovery Map 82: X 1978 7734. Last visit Aug 2020.

Longitude: 7° 42' 44" W

Latitude: 51° 56' 53" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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