St Peacaun's Church

Romanesque Church and Cross slabs

The ecclesiastic site at Toureen was founded by St Beccan in the 7th century. Standing inside the ecclesiastic enclosure are the remains of St Peacaun's 12th century Romanesque church. The cyclopean sandstone masonry is typical for this period. It always brings me so much joy to wander around these superbly built churches. St Peacaun's monastic site is one of the most peaceful places I have visited. It was also very exciting to discover the many artifacts located in and around the church. I am already looking forward to a return visit.

Pictured above, from left to right, are two cross inscribed pillars on either side of a sundial, the pillars are built into the external face wall of the east gable and the sundial is located on the south wall. Next is a stone cross comprised of two fragments, it is located on the interior east gable and the final image is the shaft of a high cross that is located on a modern platform 9 metres west of the church.

To the southeast of the church is a small display area surrounded by a cattle grid for protection. On display are the broken shaft of another high cross, with the upper portion to the east, centre of above image. In the western section are two short pillars, that maybe part of a corner-post shrine.

The Butter Stone

Also present in the area is a black stone known as the Butter stone. This was a cursing/cure stone that lay in the bullaun at St Peacaun's cell. Pilgrims to the site would make a wish/curse and turn the stone in the bullaun. According to local folklore St Beccan asked a woman, who was churning butter at the time , if she had any spare food, the woman denied having any food. Beccan cursed her and turned the butter to stone. It still bears the impression of her fingers and is now protected inside a metal cage. I would love to see this stone returned to it's original location. A delightful site strongly recommended.

Situated: From Cahir head west on the R640. After 1.5K go onto the N24 at the roundabout. After about 5 kilometres turn left onto the L3102. Then take the first left. I parked up and walked over the level crossing into the farmyard. Follow the track from here.

Discovery Map: S 0043 2858. Last Visit: June 2015.

Longitude: 7° 59' 37" W

Latitude: 52° 24' 32" N

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Pics Jim Dempsey.

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