A Student of History

May 24, 2007

Kilmacduagh is well worth the trip

Filed under: Historic Places,Ireland — John Maass @ 9:03 pm

In order to help me make some sense of my recent trip to Erin, I am going to detail the route I took and what I saw, since much is historical in nature.  I will do it in order, starting on my first day there.  If you are not into my own travels or Irish history, feel free to skip these posts….

The first thing I did once I left Shannon in my red, high powered Opel Corsa is to head North into Galway, and see Kilmacduagh.  This is pronounced “kill-mack-doo-ah.”  Now, having seen most of the important Irish monastic/church sites and ruins in my 3 previous trips there, I was NICELY surprised to find this unheralded gem.  To be so close to Galway and Shannon airport, and to have several ruined structures as well as an INTACT round tower, this place is waaaaay under visited.  I was alone for the 45 minutes to an hour I was there.  Some pictures are below, and a little history.  The site is near Gort, although somewhat challenging to find (Ireland needs some helpwith its signage).

Close to and easily accessible from Gort, this interesting early Christian site is well worth a visit for its ruined churches and well preserved round tower. The monastery was founded in the 7th Century by St. Colman MacDuagh under the patronage of Guaire, King of Connacht, although, except for the tower, most of the present buildings date from the 13th – 14th centuries. The name Kilmacduagh roughly translates as “church of Duagh’s son”.This site was of such importance that it became the centre of a new diocese, the Diocese of Kilmacduagh, in the 12th century; it is now incorporated into the Diocese of Galway. The monastery, because of its wealth and importance, was plundered several times in the lawless years of the 13th century. The interesting stonework features scattered throughout the small churches are worth searching for; these are mostly inserts from the late 11th to the 15th centuries. The Reformation effectively brought the religious life of Kilmacduagh to a close.For a detailed history of this site, click here.

1 Comment »

  1. Apparently it was my great-great-great(i don’t know how many greats!) grandad put the cross on the top of the monastery. I’m trying to find out his name…

    Comment by Mary — November 25, 2008 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

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