Parish Church

The Parish Church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. This nave and chancel church is a multi-period structure. The ruins consist of the north wall of the nave, the south wall of the chancel, a 15th century chancel arch and the 16th century Grace's Chapel. The chapel was built onto the south wall of the chancel by Sir John Grace's family in 1543. It is c.14 metres long and is the oldest part of the church. Built into the south wall is the 13th century cinquefoil sedilia pictured right. A pointed doorway was built into the south wall at a later date, to give access to the Grace chapel.

Double Sedilia

The main doorway into the chapel, pictured left, can be found at the north end of the west wall. The pointed arch is flanked by two narrow pilasters and an elaborate vine-leaf scroll, with tudor roses, decorates the top of the arch. Above the apex is a carving with a lion rampant and two shields bearing an inscription in latin. 1543 is inscribed underneath them. A rampant lion is featured on the Grace family coat of arms. Also present in the south east corner of the chapel is the lid of a chest tomb, commemorating Richard Grace, see below, and leaning against the north wall is the graveslab pictured in the centre of the image below. I hope to visit the church again soon, afternoon is probably the best time to catch the light on the doorway and the graveslabs. The light was not kind during my visit.

The tapered graveslab, above centre, is dated to the 3th/14th century. It bears a cross decorated with fleur-de-lys terminals. A faded inscription parallel to the shaft of the cross was translated by William Carrigan, it reads: David FitzHuue lies here. God on his soul have mercy.

The Cross Head

Richard Grace chest tomb

The reconstructed tomb chest in the chapel has a beautiful lid. It commemorates Richard Grace, a son of Robert of Adamstown, and his wife Honora Shortall. The lid is dated to c.1600. The area around Tullaroan was known as Grace's Country. The Shortalls, originally Schortals, were of Flemish origin. See Clara Castle and St Canice's effigies. The lid bears a an interlace cross with fleur-de-lys terminals. An inscription in latin on the lid was read by Carrigan as: RICARDVS GRACE ROB'TI DE ADAMSTOWNE ET ONORA SARTEL EIVS VXOR ME FIERE F[ECRERVNT], and the translation as, 'Richard Grace fitz Robert, of Adamstown, and Onner Shortall, his wife, got me made'.

The chapel from the south west

Situated: From Tullaroan take the road leading south to Kilmanagh/Callan.

Discovery Map 67: S 3831 5646. Last visit Apr 2019.

Longitude: 7° 26' 1" W

Latitude: 52° 39' 29" N

Google Map


Photos: Jim Dempsey.

The Grace Chapel

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