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 Killchriost (a)

                                                                                                              15th November 1839.

The Parish of Killchriost, in the north eastern extremity of the Barony of Clonderalaw, is bounded on the north and west by the Parish of Clondagad in the Barony of Islands, on the south by Kildisart Parish and on the east by the River Fergus. See Name Book.

The name of this Parish is of ecclesiastical origin and means the Church of Christ, a fact that does not speak much for its antiquity, as it is now pretty well understood that the ancient Irish did not dedicate their Churches to any but the Saints of their own country and people.

The ruined Church of Kilchrist stands in the Townland to which it gives name, all its walls in perfect preservation, and measuring seven seventy feet two inches in length and twenty three feet three inches in breadth. The west gable has a broken belfry at top. Two feet nine inches from this gable, in the south side and at the height of about four and a half feet from the ground, is a small quadrangular window two feet two inches high and five and a half inches wide in front. Two feet farther on and about two feet higher is another quadrangular window about four feet in height and ten inches in breadth. Nineteen feet from the gable, in south wall, is a pointed doorway six feet four inches in height and three feet seven inches in breadth.

Window in east gable of the old Church of Kilchrist
Window in east gable of the old Church of Kilchrist

At the distance of twenty one feet from this is a pointed window, six feet high and four feet six inches wide on the inside, four feet eight inches high and seven and three quarter inches wide on the outside. At the distance of fourteen feet three inches from this, to the east, is a small doorway, quadrangular inside where it measures five feet six inches in height and two feet five in breadth, pointed in front where it measures five feet six inches in height and one foot nine inches in breadth. There is a window within one foot of the east gable measuring six feet two inches in breadth and about eight feet in height on the inside, where its top is a flat arch, semi-circular on the outside where it measures six feet four inches in height, one foot one and a half inches in breadth at top and one foot one and a half inches at bottom. The window in the east gable is seven feet eight inches wide and about seventeen feet high on the inside, and five feet two inches wide and about twelve feet high on the outside, divided by two mullions.

There is a quadrangular window in the north side at the distance of about eight feet from the west gable and ten feet from the ground, about three feet high and seven inches wide. All the windows and doors are built of well cut stones. The internal surface of the walls exhibit symptoms of the action of fire, and there is a tradition in the neighbourhood of its having been burned during some religious commotion.

There is a ruined and much dilapidated Castle in the Townland of Ballynacally, as they told me, of which there is no mention in the Parish Name Book. It occupies the rugged and uneven top of a very steep and in some places inaccessable crag, and must have been a place of great strength.

The following names of places mentioned in Hardiman’s Irish Deed’s, No.14, are situated in this Parish, viz:-

    1. Inis-Mor (an island in the Fergus).
    2. Roscre (now Rosscleibh or Roscliff).
    3. Baile-na-Cailighe (now Ballynacally).
    4. Crapoge (now Knoppoag).
    5. Lios Cealla O’Cadhla (q. Lioscallog).
    6. Inistiread (qr. Inisdia).
    7. Leithcheathramha-na-Lice-Mec-Briain-gCeangc (Leac).