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Dromcollogher Church | Broadford Church | Church Ruins

Church Ruins

Prior to the building of Dromcollogher church, an ancient church existed here in the Tuath of Corkomoyd. However, Begley believed that this church was burned down in a war in 1302.

St Bartholomew's Church Ruin
© St Bartholomew's Church Ruin

This church was replaced by St Bartholomew's church, the ruins of which can now be seen across the road from the present day church in Dromcollogher. Dromcollogher graveyard surrounds the ruin.

According to an entry in the Munster Journal of January 3rd 1751, there was also a Mass house in the area.

Killagholehane Church Ruin
© Killagholehane Church Ruin

Occasionally referred to as Killaliathan church, Killagholehane church, is situated in Killagholehane graveyard. The name is derived from the Irish Cill Acha Liatháin, which means "the church of the field of O'Leehane". According to legend, one of the Uí Liathain (O'Leehane) women wanted to establish a church but did not know the best site for her church. She prayed to God for a sign that would help her decide on the location. After a snowstorm in the summer, only one field remained free from the white blanket of snow. This field was part of the Uí Liatháin's land. The woman took this occurrence as an omen. In honour of this omen, it was decided to dedicate the church to Our Lady of the Snows.

aPriest's Accommodation attached to Killagholehane church
© Priest's accommodation
attached to Killagholehane Church

Holy Water Font in Killagholehane Church Ruin
© Holy Water Font in
Killagholehane Church Ruin

The earliest record of Killagholehane church is from 1201. In 1302 at the time of the destruction of the church in Dromcollogher, Killagholehane church was also partially destroyed. It was rebuilt almost immediately on the same site.

There was also accommodation for priests in a building attached to the church. There is a tomb in the wall of the church from the fifteenth century but it is unknown who it belongs to. It may possibly be the tomb of the O'Daly family, a renowned Bardic family under the employment of the Earls of Desmond for around 300 years.

Springfield Church Ruin
© Springfield Church Ruin

Springfield church ruin is located in the graveyard of the same name. This church, also known as Gortnatubrid, was originally a Chapel of Ease for the Fitzgerald family in Springfield Castle. In fact an underground tunnel was located linking the church to the castle. This church became a Protestant church and both Catholics and Protestants are buried in the surrounding graveyard.

There is a tomb to the Fitzmaurice family, who acquired the castle after Sir John Fitzgerald left the country to serve with the Irish Brigade in France following the Jacobite/Williamite war of 1689-91. He was killed in battle in Oudenarde in 1708. During the Geraldine Rebellion of 1579, John of Desmond defeated the English at the Battle of Gortnatubrid in a field just below the cemetery in Springfield, called Páirc na Staille.

Over the entrance to Springfield Castle is the motto of the MacCarthy family which means "To the brave and the faithful, nothing is difficult". The entrance was inspired by the Maoiri tradition, which Lord Muskerry came across while working in Australia and New Zealand.

Tullylease Church Ruin
© Tullylease Church Ruin

The church ruins in Tullylease are believed to date from the seventh century. Tullylease is in the Diocese of Cloyne and is regarded by many as a boundary point in the Diocese of Limerick. The present diocesan boundaries were drawn up at the Synod of Rathbrassil in 1111.

The original church at Tullylease was built by St Berechert, an Anglo-Saxon saint who came to Ireland in the seventh century with St. Gerald of Mayo. Mathew, son of Grifin built an Augustinian monastery here some time before 1170. Parts of the ruins date from the twelfth (the south end of the east wall), thirteenth (the window and door in the south wall) and the fifteenth (the chancel) centuries. According to Séamus Ó Súilleabháin, the soldiers of Cromwell destroyed the church in or around 1650.

Inscribed Stone in Tullylease Church Ruin
© Inscribed Stone in Tullylease church ruin

On the eastern wall of the church, there is an inscribed stone that is from the eighth century. It is an early Christian cross-slab and asks people to pray for Berechert (sometimes called St Benjamin).

Seamus Ó Súilleabháin informs us that the stone is similar to a scene in the Book of Lindisfarme, an Anglo-Saxon book similar to Ireland's Book of Kells.

According to John O'Sullivan's book 'A History of the Church in Killagholehane and Broadford', there was also a church called Killeen, the site of which was a half mile to the north of Broadford village. However, there is no longer any trace of the church at the site.

Dromcollogher Church | Broadford Church | Church Ruins

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