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Friarstown Abbey | Church Ruins

Church Ruins

Before the present church in Knockea, there was a church on Knockea hill, which was built around 1780. Westropp includes a place called Kilpatrick which is 'on the east border of Donaghmore and distinct from Rathurd and Ardpatrick'. Where this church (if it was a church because Westropp does not specify) was situated is unknown.

Lenihan's "History of Limerick" mentions an old church in Caherivahala. "The Rich Land" by Spellissy & O'Brien, mentions a church in Cahervally, of which only ruins remained in the 1840s. These churches may be one and the same church.

Westropp, in his "Survey of the Ancient Churches in the County of Limerick" says that the church in Cahervally was dedicated to St Thomas the Apostle in 1410. The saint's feastday is on December 21st.

Church Ruin in Raheen graveyard
© Church Ruin in Raheen Graveyard

The old church in Cahervally is in Raheen graveyard, in the townland of Raheen. This was the church of St Thomas. Westropp measured it as 60 feet by 21 ½ feet. The walls were 9 feet high and 2 feet 9 inches thick. This was where the monks in Friarstown attended Mass.

Church Ruin in Donaghmore graveyard
© Church Ruin in Donaghmore Graveyard

Begley measured the church ruin in Donaghmore as 39 ½ feet by 26 feet and the walls as about 11 feet high. According to local tradition, St Patrick founded a church on this site during a visit to the area.

Ruin in Cahernorry graveyard
© Church Ruin in Cahernorry graveyard

All that remains of the church ruin in Cahernorry is the belfry tower that was part of the church. The church was dedicated to St Nicholas in 1410. In the 18th century, mass was said in a timber church on the site. The church was rebuilt by the Church of Ireland in 1809 and was dismantled and rebuilt in Ballyneety in 1862.

In the belfry tower, there is now a statue to Mary. There is also a plaque that states that the Restoration was carried out in 1993 and that the plaque is to the late Paddy Wade from the volunteer workers.

Rathuaird (now spelt as Rathurd) was an ancient parish that was divided up between the parishes of St Nicholas and Donaghmore. There was a church here and there was also a church in Kilprichane, which was near Rathuaird South. According to "An Antique and Storied Land" by Thomas Toomey and Harry Greensmyth, the ruins of the church were to be seen on the lands of Tom Hickey.

Kyltaroge, which is also mentioned by Westropp, is near Lickadoon. However, he does not specify whether this is a church or a burial ground. Westropp also mentions Maynchro church, which was named with Mungret and Rathurd in 1239.

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Friarstown Abbey | Church Ruins

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