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

Parish of Drumcliff (a)

This Parish is not separated from that of Kilmailley in the Engraved Map from the Down Survey now before me, for both Parishes are given under the name of Drumkleeve. According to the present division of this district into two Parishes, the one called Drumcliff forms the eastern, and that called Kilmailley the western part. The latter Parish includes the country called Hy-Cormaic, which lies, according to all the natives, between the mountain of Slieve Callan and the Town of Ennis.

The old Church of Drumcliff, situated about two miles to the northwest of the Town of Ennis, is an ancient one which was remodelled about five or six centuries since. It is fifty eight feet nine inches long and twenty feet ten inches broad. Its west gable is in tolerable preservation and about twenty two feet in height. It contains one window placed at the height of nine feet six inches from the ground and measuring on the outside about two feet nine inches in height and seven inches in breadth; it gradually widens towards the inside, but it is so curtained with large ivy that its dimensions on that side could not be easily ascertained.

The south wall is ten feet six inches in height and contains a pointed doorway placed at the distance of seventeen feet nine inches from the west gable. It is pointed on the outside and semi-circular at the top on the inside where it looks very ancient (which is rare in Churches of its age). It measures on the inside seven feet six inches in height and four feet one and a half inches in width, and on the outside six feet three inches in height and three feet in width. The same wall has, at the distance of seven feet seven inches to the east of this doorway, an ancient window, which was stopped up when the doorway was inserted. It is three feet eleven inches wide on the inside and six inches on the outside, but it is so injured at the top that its height cannot now be ascertained. At the distance of seven feet nine inches from this window is another window which was inserted when the Church was remodelled. It measures on the inside five feet in height and three feet six inches in breadth and on the outside four feet one inch in height and six inches in breadth. In the same wall within a few inches of the east gable appears the right side of a very ancient window, now built up, from which it would appear that this Church was longer in its original state than it is at present.

The east gable contains a pointed window, on the inside five feet nine inches in height and three feet ten inches in breadth and on the outside five feet one inch in height and one foot ten inches in breadth. It is divided into two parts by a mullion of limestone. The north wall is featureless and about ten feet of it destroyed at the northwest corner.

The following are the parts of this Church which are ancient and modern:- The west gable was certainly all rebuilt, but the stones of the original gable were used in rebuilding it. The external face of the southwest corner has been removed by the peasantry to the extent of nine feet, to obtain stones for placing over graves. This part was of the original work. From this breach to where the modern doorway was inserted - an extent of about ten feet - is certainly of the original work inside and outside. The ancient work appears again at the distance of three feet ten inches to the east of this doorway and extends for sixteen feet six inches, but all the rest of the south wall is certainly modern, as is all the east gable and all the north wall excepting a few feet of the middle part of it. A considerable part of its external face near the northwest corner, which seems to have been of the original work was destroyed by the peasantry to get stones for placing over the graves of their friends.