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

Parish of Quin (a)

                                                                                                              24th November 1839.

The situation of the Parish of Quin, of which I am now going to treat, is not laid down as regards other Parishes in the Parishes Name Book, nor am I able to distinguish its border Parishes, especially on the south, on the engraved Map of the Down Survey.

The Irish name of this Parish is Cuinche, but why or when it got this name, or what its particular signification may be, we have not as yet been able to ascertain.

The Church of Cuinche, according to the tradition of the inhabitants, the only authority we have yet met on the subject, was dedicated to St. Finghin, but what Finghin they now forget, though there was a holy day formerly kept to his honor in the Parish, but it is now totally forgotten.

The ruins of the Church of St. Finghin stand on the west side of the river opposite the ruins of the Abbey, measuring seventy nine feet in length and twenty seven feet in breadth. The north wall is down to the ground, the gables and south side remain to their original height. A square tower about fifty six feet in height is built at the southeast angle, the door opening into the Church, measuring within four feet eight inches from east to west and four feet from north to south, the wall one foot eleven inches thick at the height of five feet six inches from the ground, where there is a small quadrangular window in the north side. It has a flat stone floor at the height of about eight feet from the ground, through which is an oblong aperture near the north wall.

There is a pointed doorway, its sides broken, in the south wall, fourteen feet four inches from the west gable. Twenty nine feet from this is a window with a flat circular head inside, where it measures about eight feet in height and five feet in breadth, divided in front by a pillar of masonry into two pointed divisions, five feet three inches in height and each six inches wide. Within three four inches of the east gable is another window, broken at top, front and sides, except the western side within, which is built up with ornamented cut stones. It was five feet four inches in breadth and six feet ten inches to the springing of the arch. The window in the east gable is thirteen feet wide inside, divided into three parts by columns of masonry, but the height or form at top cannot be ascertained on account of the quantity of ivy by which the gable is so thickly covered. The south wall is three feet four inches thick and about eighteen feet high. No part of the ruins appear to me to be older than the 15th century, if so old, therefore they must not be parts of the Church mentioned in the following article from the Annals of the Four Masters:-

A.D. 1278. Donogh, the son of Brian Roe, and the other sons of O’Brien, defeated the Earl of Clare at Cuinche; they burned the Church of Cuinche over the heads of those who were within it and effected a terrible destruction of them, both by fire and slaughter.