The Churches of County Clare
By T. J. Westropp, M.A.
 Home | Search Library Catalogue | Search this Website | Copyright Notice
Clare County Library

Survey of the Churches

Diocese of Killaloe

Barony of Bunratty Upper

71. INCHICRONAN, AUGUSTINIAN MONASTERY, Sheet 26.—Parish church, 66 feet by 16 feet 6 inches. A church with a south transept, a sacristy, and a small domicile. The east end dates from about 1080; the window has a beautifully built splay, with a semicircular head. The outer face has a well-cut spray of foliage under an A hood moulding. The transept is of fine early fifteenth-century work, with two arches opening from the church. An enclosure, with a pointed gateway, lies to the east. Founder, Cronan, perhaps of Tomgraney, c. A.D. 550—King Donald More O’Brien is said to have established the Augustinians here. He granted it as “Insula S. Cronani” to Clare Abbey in 1189. “Inchigronayn,” 1302. Monuments, Butler, 1735. Descriptions, Report of the Board of Public Works, 1879-80 (illustrations); T. J. Westropp, R.S.A.I., 1900, p. 133 (plan and views). Vested as a National Monument.

72. KILVOYDAN, Sheet 26.—Inchicronan Parish. There only remain a well and graveyard; in the latter is a bullaun. A dolmen stands on the neighbouring hill.

73. KILTOOLA, Sheet 18.— Inchicronan Parish. A church with late fifteenth-century details. The south wall leans out. Founder, probably Tola. “Kellsuvleg,” 1302. An independent parish, and so continued to 1590.

74. TEMPLEMALEY, Sheet 25.—Parish church, 54 feet 6 inches by 18 feet 9 inches. It is rudely built, and probably dates from about 1080; the windows belonging to that period. One seems still earlier, having an angular head of two slabs. A souterrain lies not far from the west end of the ruin; but the new river-bed of the Fergus has been cut between them. Founder unknown. “Inalli,” 1302; “Temple Imayle,” 1584. [127]

75. KILRAGHTIS, Sheet 26.—Parish church, 63 feet 4 inches by 17 feet 9 inches. A late fifteenth-century church, well built and perfect. The east window has two lights, probably trefoil-headed, but thickly ivied (shaft remains). The south door is slightly pointed. Not far to the north is the dolmen of Ballymaconna. Founder and origin of name unknown. “Kilrathusa” in 1302; “Cil reachtais,” 1601 (“Annals of the Four Masters”).

North Window, Templemaley
North Window, Templemaley

76. CLOONEY, Sheet 34.—Parish church, 45 feet 6 inches by 20 feet. The south door is pointed. The sides and west end probably date from the fifteenth century; the east end is late. A capital and another carved fragment are built into the south wall. Founder, traditionally, Rikin or Brecan c. 500. “Cluaine,” “Clony,” 1302.

Fragments built into wall,, Clooney
Fragments built into wall,, Clooney
Fragments built into wall, Clooney

77. CARNTEMPLE, Sheet 34.—Cloney Parish, 20 by 10 feet. The very ancient and massive foundations of an oratory (some of the stones over 6 feet long) in the townland of Noughaval, and called Carntemple. It marks the site of Kilbrecan, one of the first mission churches of Thomond. Founder, Brecan, c. A.D. 480. “Kellbrakyn,” 1302, being then a separate parish.

78. DOORA, Sheet 33.—Parish church, 58 feet 6 inches by 23 feet 8 inches. A very ancient church “cyclopean” masonry. The side walls and south windows probably date from the early eleventh century. The east window has two lights; the southern is of sandstone, with a semicircular head boldly moulded, and of the same period as the south window; its other light is a close copy in limestone. The north door is lintelled, but does not incline. There are two curious corbels in the south wall. Founder, St. Brecan, c. A.D. 500. “Durinierekin,” in 1189; “Dubdery,” in 1302; “Dura,” in O’Brien’s Rental, 1380: “Dubhdoire,” [128] in the Life of St. Brendan MacFinloga. Descriptions, Dwyer, p. 486; T. J. Westropp, R.S.A.I., 1900 (views and plan).

79. KILLAVELLA, Sheet 34.—Doora Parish; near it is the well Toberineenboy.

80. SPANCEL HILL. O’Donovan identifies the Abbey of Drom Urchaill, A.D. 837 (“Annals of the Four Masters”), as at this place. It is probably some other place of the name. No such site is known near Spancel Hill.

81. QUIN, ST. FINGHIN’S CHURCH, Sheet 42.—Parish Church, 79 by 27 feet. A Gothic church, built probably about 1280, with a later belfry tower. The east window is a triple lancet, the south window richly moulded. Founder, Finghin; identity doubtful. The well Toberinghine is dedicated to Inghean Baoith. “Cuinche,” in 1110, was adopted by the Synod of Rathbreasail as a boundary mark for the diocese of Killaloe and that of Limerick. “Cil Cuinche” was burned by the Irish over De Clare’s soldiers in 1279. Description, R.S.A.I., 1900, and a view, R.S.A.I., 1890, p. 292.

82. QUIN, FRANCISCAN FRIARY, Sheet 42. The building consists of a nave, chancel, transept, and belfry, with domestic buildings round an arcaded cloister; a hospital, or guest house, and the foundations of other buildings. It rests on the foundations, and retains some of the walls and bastions of Thomas De Clare’s “round towery castle,” 1280. This was destroyed by Cuvea Macnamara about 1286, and was adopted as an abbey before 1350. [129] Founder, probably Maccon Macnamara. It was rebuilt by Sioda Cam Macnamara, 1402, to which period the cloister and vaulted rooms belong. It was further repaired and enlarged, probably on its reform, by Maccon Macnamara, 1433 (under papal license). The transept, belfry tower, and most of the details of the upper rooms date from this time. Monuments, Odo Macnamara, c. 1500 (a neat canopied tomb); John Macnamara (chief), 1601; Donough Macnamara 1654; Tiege Macnamara, of Rannagh, 1714; Macnamara, of Ballmarkahan, 1722; Edmund Macnamara, 1761; and many others of this family; Molony, 1748; Scanlan, 1771; Stamer, 1799; Lords Dunboyne; Rev. John Hogan, the last friar, 1820. There is also a curious piece of stucco-work, probably c. 1645 (sketched by Dyneley, 1680). Descriptions, Dyneley (1680), R.S.A.I., 1866 (illustrations); Bishop Pococke’s “Tour”; Grose, vol. ii., p. 69 (illustration); Lady Chatterton’s “Rambles in the South of Ireland”; T. N. Deane, Proc. R.I.A., 1882 (plan); T. J. Westropp, R.S.A.I., 1888, p. 334; 1894, p. 83; 1900 (plans and illustrations); N. C. Macnamara, “Story of an Irish Sept,” pp. 104, 142, 144, 200; Report of Board of Public Works, 1881, 1882, p. 89 (plan and illustrations); Dwyer, pp. 483, 536; Frost, p. 50 (illustration). Vested as a National Monument.

83. DANGANBRACK, Sheet 42.—Quin Parish. “Dangynbrecach,” a separate parish, 1302. Site forgotten.

84. SHANKILL, Sheet 34.—Quin Parish. A graveyard and fragments of a church near Dangan Ivigen.

Back to The Churches of County Clare:
Survey of the Churches
Back to County Clare Places:
Bunratty Barony