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

Parish of Killonohan (a)

This Parish is bounded on the north by the Parish of Gleninagh; on the east by the Parish of Kilmoon; on the south by the Barony of Corcumroe and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.

The name of this Parish is in Irish Cill Anachain, Cill Onchon, but nothing has been discovered to prove its meaning, and etymological conjecture, without being corroborated by locality or written monument, is worth nothing. (Colgan calls this Kill-Onchon, which he explains the Church of St. Onchuo. He places it in the Territory of Boirenn, now the Barony of Burren. John O’Donovan, December 17th 1840).

The original Church of this Parish is said to have been erected by St. Columbkille after his expulsion from Aran by St. Éinné. It is situated in the Townland of Craggagh. Its two gables are in tolerable preservation, but the side walls are much injured. It is forty eight feet long and twenty one broad. The walls built of large stones not laid in regular courses, and two feet three inches in thickness. The doorway was in the north wall but nearly destroyed. The only perfect feature remaining is the window in the east gable which is constructed of cut stone and measures on the inside ten feet in height and six feet six inches in width, and on the outside eight feet in height and eight and a half inches in width.

In the Townland of Crimlin (Cruimghlin) are the ruins of another old Church of greater antiquity, but much injured by the tooth of time. The east gable however, twenty feet of the south wall and eleven feet of the north wall are standing, but the rest level with the ground. The doorway has disappeared, but it was probably placed in the west gable as could be inferred from the characteristics of the other features which remain. The south wall contains a round-headed window placed at the distance of five feet six inches from the east gable, and five and a third feet from the present level of the ground on the outside, and measuring on the inside six feet in height, and three feet eight inches in width, and on the outside two feet ten inches in height and in breadth (width) four inches at top and six inches at bottom. It is constructed of hammered stones. The east gable contains a window, round-headed like the one last described, but constructed of chiselled stones. It measures on the inside seven feet in height, four feet ten inches in width and is placed at the height of five feet six inches from the present level of the ground. On the outside it measures five feet in height, and in width four inches at top and six inches at bottom. The walls are two feet six inches in thickness and the side walls twelve feet in height. It can be ascertained from the foundations of the west gable still remaining that the Church was thirty three feet ten inches in length and eighteen feet six inches in breadth. It is probable that this was the Church built by St. Columbkille after his expulsion from Aran, and not Killonahan. It appears from the features just described and from the character of the masonry (for the walls are built of large stones, not laid in regular courses, but well grouted with strong mortar) that this Church is one of the primitive ages of Christianity in Ireland. The east window may have been inserted in the 10th century, but all the rest looks very ancient.