St Mary's Church

Collegiate Church

The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to state it's full name, is a really wonderful 13th century building. This rectangular church has undergone many changes over the years. The original chancel was removed and replaced by a 19th century Parish Church, the superb central tower was vastly modified in the 14th or 15th century and the crenellations were added to the church. The church was served by a college of clerics, rather than monks, who lived in a nearby house.

The Parish Church at the eastern end of the building is only open to visitors during the summer months, June to August, and even then it is closed on mondays and tuesdays. I dropped by in May but still thoroughly enjoyed my visit. There is a vast array of medieval carving to to be found throughout the building. I don't recall ever seeing such a large number of masks, except on romanesque doorways, on any other ecclesiastic building. I will definitely call back during the summer months as there are some splendid 16th century Butler tombs, decorated with weepers and effigies of armoured knights, a couple of 14th century effigial slabs and a cross inscribed ogham stone present inside the Parish Church.

A few of the many masks to be found throughout the building.

Situated: Very easy. Located in the centre of town on the R448. Parking nearby.

Discovery Map 68: S 6331 5348. Last visit May 2014.

Longitude: 7° 3' 53" W

Latitude: 52° 37' 44" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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