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Church Ruins

St Munchin's church, Bruree
© St Munchin's church, Bruree

According to local historian Jerry Hynes, the old holy water font was found in the old churchyard. It is presumed to have belonged to the old church of St Munchin, which stood in the churchyard. The church was dedicated to St Mainchín, or Munchin, in 1410, and would have been in use as Bruree parish church in the 1400s and 1500s, up at least to the time of the Reformation. Nothing remained of this church in 1840 when the ordinance survey was done. Mr Hynes says that the stones of the ruin were probably used in the building of the nearby Protestant church in 1812. This church has not been used for services for a number of years.

The well-known local historian Mannix Joyce told us of two facts that substantiate the claim that St Munchin's church existed on this site. In a record of road repairs from 1812 the phrase 'to the church gates in Bruree' is used. On remeasuring the distance Mannix found that the measurements brought him to within a few feet of the location of the church gates of St Munchin's church. This leads him to believe that the old church site was on or near the present church site. There also was a tailor made altar cloth dated from 1829. If there was not a church in Bruree prior to 1842, there must have been a mass house in the parish.

Teampaill Mhuire
© Teampaill Mhuire

There is a church ruin in Howardstown that was supposedly built by the Knights Templars in 1287. This church was formerly called Cooleen or Teampaill Mhuire. Only one wall remains of this ruin. The ground around the church is uneven, with noticeable rises and dips. A local man Pat Lyons told us that the settlement around the church used to cover an area of around 2-3 acres so this may explain the unevenness of the surrounding ground.

According to Mannix Joyce, the church in Howardstown may have been a chapel of ease to the church in Bruree. This piece of information came from the Protestant Minister Lewis Prytherch in 1704.

Westropp mentions a church in Kilbreedy Minor, which is in the parish. This church was recorded as dedicated to St Brigid on February 1st 1410. Westropp said that the nave and choir were 30 ½ feet by 20 feet 9 inches and 23 feet by 20 feet 9 inches. No ruins remain.

Rockhill Church | Bruree Church | Church Ruins

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