© St Bernard's church
There are some older church sites in the parish. Ballyallinan
church is better known as the church of Beinid or St Bernard's church.
The site of this small church is near St. Bernard's well. The church is
in good condition and an altar has been erected in the body of the church.
Large crowds attend Mass when it is said here each year on August 20th,
the feast day of St Bernard.
© Rathnaseer church ruin
Rathnaseer church is about two miles south of Rathkeale. This ruin is
overgrown by trees and bushes but it is still visible from the roadside.
Westropp measured the nave and chancel in 1905 as 37 feet by 23 1/2 feet
and 19 feet by 16 1/2 feet. In the past Rathnasser was a parish.
Robert Waspayl reputedly gave the church of Rathkeale to the abbey of
Keynsham in Somersetshire between the years of 1212 and 1228. This church
was burned by the English lead by Malby in 1579. The Protestant church
was built in 1831 near the site of the former church.
Westropp also mentions a church called Kilcolman Superior in the parish
of Rathkeale. The townlands of Kilcolman East and West are also in the
parish of Knockaderry/Cloncagh. There was also a church in Kilsmattyre,
which according to Westropp, the Rev. J. Dowd said might have been 'Castlematrix'
near Rathkeale. However, no such church is now known.
© Rathkeale abbey
The abbey is situated at the upper end of the Main St. and
was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the instructions of its
founder Gilbert Harvey and his descendant Eleanor Purcell. It was founded
in 1289. Augustinians from the Order of St Aroasia officiated at the Abbey.
It was claimed that in 1436, St. Mary the Virgin worked several miracles
here. The abbey was granted to Sir H. Wallop after the death of the prior
of the abbey Gerot Baluff in the Desmond Rebellion. The monastery was
officially suppressed in 1542 but it is thought that a small community
of canons may have remained there until 1581. The abbey is in good condition
and Muintir na Tire renovated it in 1970.