© 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
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.