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Irish homes and Irish hearts p2 – 1868

Freeman’s Journal 28th March, 1868 p11

Kilmacduagh Abbey Photo: Borvan53  Wikimedia Commons

Kilmacduagh Abbey
Photo: Borvan53
Wikimedia Commons


(abridged)
The See of Kilmacduagh was founded by St Colman in the seventh century. Here the cathedral was built, close behind a round tower and surrounded by six other churches. We explored the ruins well and I was fortunate in having a cicerone who had often visited them before, and took a vivid interest in them. It was irritating to see cattle and sheep grazing in the area, more especially as the place is held sacred by the people who bring their dead for burial in its precincts. The former owner of the place was proud of the ruins and took pains to preserve them. It has now unfortunately, passed into younger and more careless hands. It is supposed that one of these seven churches was a college chapel, another a monastery and a third a convent – the other three being probably smaller churches or oratories dedicated to some favourite saints. The convent chapel is the most perfect and the east window and several arches with their corbels show it to have been one of great beauty.

The round tower is especially remarkable from its leaning seventeen feet out of the perpendicular and it is certainly a most singular object. Tradition says it was built by Gobhan Saor, the architect of Glendalough and Antrim.

On leaving this interesting spot I drove through some pretty country, with distant views of “the lonely hills of Clare,” all radiant with the sunshine, to Lough Couter. It was pleasant to see all along the way how the people greeted the priest; they came out from their cabin doors and children ran from their play to get a word from him.

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