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Kildimo Church | Pallaskenry Church | Church Ruins

Church Ruins

Mellon church and graveyard
© Mellon church and graveyard

There is a church ruin in the townland of Mellon. This is the ruin of a Protestant church, which was built in 1738 on the site of what was once a Catholic Church known as Ardcanny church. The church ruin is quite large, and is mostly intact, although it is possible that part of the church has been rebuilt. Prayers are held here in November of each year. Ardcanny was once the parish name of this area. The name was derived from the Irish Árd Caithne, the height of the arbutus tree.

Killulta church
© Killulta church

Killulta church is a remarkable building. This ruin, which is in excellent condition, probably dates from the 9th century. In his Topographical dictionary of Ireland, Lewis describes a church in the western extremity of the parish, the ruins of which were 12 feet long and 8 broad. Lewis mistakenly believed the church to have been built by the Knights Templars in 1290. However, others date the church to pre-1100. Some writers have dated this church 450-480AD, but its appearance does not support this claim. The area surrounding the church was once used as a burial ground, although no trace of this remains. In his local history of the area, Kenry, Mairtín Ó Corrbhuí wrote that a bronze pin, four inches long was found hereabout 1935. He also wrote that a bronze sword was found near a circle of stones west of the church about 1850. The present whereabouts of this sword are unknown. The name can be translated as Cill an Ultaigh, the church of the Ulsterman, or as Cill Ultain, the church of St Ultain.

Old Parish church in Kildimo
© Old Parish church in Kildimo

The old parish church in Kildimo is situated in Old Kildimo. This church was sold when the new parish church was built, and is now in use by a private business.

According to Spellissy/O'Brien's The Rich Land at the time when Fr Connery was parish priest of the area, there was not only a church in old Kildimo, but also another Catholic Church at Whiteforge. However, we did not find a ruin of this church. Mairtín Ó Corrbuí lists this church as a mass house, although other sources describe it as a chapel. Rev Thomas Shanahan was the last parish priest to celebrate mass in Whiteforge, as in 1863, the year before his death, the present church in Pallaskenry was opened. The water font from the Whiteforge church was moved into the new church.

There was a church in the townland of Kildacolam, but all traces of this church have now disappeared. The townland is now known as Court townland, but a castle in the area still bears the name Kildacolum. This castle is believed to have been built by the Fitzgerald's in 1514.

Díoma himself may have founded the church of St Díoma, from which Kildimo derives its name, or it may have been erected after his time, in his honour, according to Mainchín Seoige. It was located in the old churchyard of Kildimo, although no trace of it remains.

The church of Chapelrussell was located half a mile east of Pallaskenry as early as 1418. No trace of this church remains now, although, the graveyard is still in use. Westropp says that a gold fibula was found near the site in 1834.

According to Westropp there was once a church in Kilmorine townland at the south-west angle of Kildimo parish, although the site is no longer known. There was also a church in the townland of Killashee, and again the site of this is no longer known.

Mairtín Ó Corrbuí also mentions townlands in the parish that derive their names from old church sites, although no trace of a ruin exists any longer. Kilmacat, Cill mo Cháit, the church of St Catherine, and Kilasuragh (now called Shannongrove), Cill na Siúrach, the nun's church, are both townlands in the parish today. However, no trace of a ruin exists in either townland.

As well as the mass house at Whiteforge, Ó Corrbuí mentions a mass house in Dromore townland. He says that this mass house was strange in that it was located so close to the mass house at Whiteforge.

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