Clare County Library
Clare History
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Carron (a)

                                                                                                                    Inis Diomain,
                                                                                                                             October 23rd 1839.

Dear Sir,
The next part of Burren which I have examined is the extensive Parish of Carron. It is bounded on the west and northwest by the Parishes of Noughaval, Kilcoarney and Oghtmama; on the northeast by the Co. of Galway; on the east by the Parish of Kilkeedy and on the south by that of Killinaboy.

This Parish is now called in Irish Paráiste an Chairn and the old Church Teampull a Chairn, i.e., the Parish and Church of Carn, or the Sepulchral Heap, and yet there is no cairn near the old Church at least in the same Townland with it. The nearest cairn to the old Church of this Parish is about one mile to the west of it, and in the Townland of Ballydoory; but whether the Parish was originally called after this or from some other now destroyed, which stood nearer the old Church, is a question that cannot be easily answered. Nothing, however, is more certain than that Teampull a Chairn, the present name of the old Church means the Church of the Cairn.

The word Cárn, which is pronounced long in the north of Ireland, is here pronounced short - Carn.

The old Church of Carn is situated in a Townland of the same name about six miles to the northwest of Corofin. It measures in the clear fifty six feet ten inches in length and twenty feet eight inches in breadth. The west gable contains no feature but a broken belfry on its top. The south contains a pointed doorway six feet ten inches in height and three feet eight inches in width, and two windows, one of which is pointed, but the other is so broken at the top that its characteristics cannot be ascertained, but nothing is surer than that it also was pointed. The east gable contains a pointed window broad inside and narrow outside. It measures on the inside fourteen feet in height and six feet four inches in width, and on the outside ten feet in height and six inches wide, and at two-thirds of its height a small stone extends across but for what purpose cannot be easily determined.

A broken stone altar remains under this window and on its left corner a Holy Water Font of curious formation.

In the north wall not far from the east gable are inserted in the wall (from which they project a little) three heads, two of males and one of a female.

The walls of this Church are three feet six inches thick and about fourteen feet high. This Church is of the fifteenth century.