|Clare County Library
Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839
Parish of Killadysert (a)
The Parish of Kildysart is bounded on the north by the the Parish of Kilchrist; on the east by the Shannon where it receives the Fergus and on the south and west by the Parish of Kilfeddaun.
The name of this Parish is in the Irish language Cill a Disirt, which signifies the Church of the Desert or Wilderness. In the list of the Parishes of Thomond it is called Desertmorehely, and Desert Murthuile in the Wars of Torlogh.
The old Church of Kildysart is situated near the margin of the Shannon close to the village of Kildysart and appears more like a small Monastery than a Parish Church. It is very firmly built of most excellent lime stone and has suffered very little from the shock of elements, except at the south west angle and west side of its tower, where it was injured by lightning about thirteen years ago, and at the same period a stream of lightning struck the north wall, but did not make any breach in it in consequence of the manner in which it fell, it having only skimmed along the surface.
It is seventy five feet in length and twenty one feet in breadth on the inside, and its side walls are four feet five inches in thickness at the bottom and three feet eleven inches at the height of five feet from the level of the ground (there being a batter to that height all round, which renders the building very firm) but from this up they are of equal thickness. They are fifteen feet high.
There is a square tower attached to the west end measuring on the inside eight feet one inch from east to west and eight feet five inches from north to south, and about forty feet in height. The walls of this tower are two feet five inches in thickness and very well built of most excellent lime stones. It had six lofts as is clear from the stones projecting from the wall for the support of joists, and each story was lighted by one window, quadrangular inside and outside. The lowest of these windows (which may be taken as a model for all the rest as well as I could judge from the ground) measures on the inside four feet in height and three feet four inches in breadth, and on the outside two feet five inches in height and six inches in breadth. A pointed archway leads into this tower from the body of the Church, measuring six feet nine inches in height and the same in breadth. Over this archway, at the height of one foot, there is a quadrangular doorway or window leading into the tower and lower than the roof of the Church.
The south wall of the Church contains a quadrangular window placed one foot and a half from the present level of the ground on the outside, and in the south west corner adjoining the tower. It measures on the outside two feet eight inches in height and six inches in width, and it gradually widens towards the inside, but it is partly filled up with modern mason work.
At the distance of twenty feet nine inches from the tower there is in the south wall a pointed doorway measuring on the outside six feet six inches in height and three feet two inches in width, and on the inside eight feet in height and five feet ten inches in breadth. Its head on the inside forms a segment of a circle (about the sixth part of a circle of considerable size). At the distance of fifteen feet to the east of this doorway there is a window which is very broad on the inside and very narrow on the outside. On the inside it is eight feet in height and six feet six inches in width, and on the outside five feet six inches in height and seven inches in width. Its top on the outside is of this form.
At the distance of twelve feet ten inches to the east of this window there is a curious pointed doorway, very narrow on the outside. On the inside it is five feet ten inches in breadth (width) and seven feet five inches in height, and on the outside only one foot four and a half inches wide at top and one foot seven inches at bottom.
Within thirteen inches of the east gable there is a window, quadrangular on the outside and circular on the inside. On the inside it measures six feet in height and six feet three inches in breadth, and on the outside four feet one inch in height and six and three quarter inches in breadth.
The east gable contains a high pointed window measuring on the inside about fourteen feet in height and nine feet ten inches in breadth, and on the outside ten feet in height and in width one foot eleven and a half inches at bottom, and it narrows gradually towards the top to one foot two inches. The sides of this window are perforated for the reception of iron bars, and the seat of a mullion is to be seen at the bottom.